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]\I A D R A S : 



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The first ' Manual ' of this district was The Madura Country 
of Mr. J. H. Nelson, I.C.S., published at Madras in 1868. 

The chief features of his work were its sections on the 
political and revenue history of the district ; and these have 
been freely utilized in the present volume. The early part of 
the former of them, however, has naturally been largely 
superseded by the discoveries due to the progress of epigraphy 
in recent years ; and limits of space have necessitated the 
ruthless condensation of much of Mr. Nelson's picturesque 
account of the Nayakkan dynasty in the latter part of the 
same section. Most of the rest of the book is new. It is 
arranged on the system followed in the other District Gazet- 
teers of the new series now being brought out, and statistical 
matter appears in a separate Appendix which is to be revised 
decennially, after each census. 

Under instructions, the volume does not deal with the 
Ramnad and Sivaganga zamindaris, which are to be transfer- 
red to another district, and treats the area which will be 
included in the proposed new Nilakkottai taluk as though 
this taluk were already in existence. The absence of statistics 
for this latter tract has, however, in some cases prevented 
the consistent carrying out of this method of referring to it. 

Thanks to the various gentlemen, non-official and official, 
who have been kind enough to help with the undertaking 
have been rendered wherever possible in the body of the 
volume. The plan of the Madura temple at p. 267 and the 
early portions of the lists of Collectors and Judges on pp. SOS 
and 218 were prepared for the revised District Manual which 
was begun by Sir Harold Stuart. 

W. F. 






I. Physical Description 


II. Political History . . 


III. Thb People 


IV. Agriculture AND Irrigation .. .. .. .. J 12-131 

V. Forests 


VI. Occupations and Trade 


VII. Means of Communication 


Vlli. Eainfall and Seasons 


IX. Public PIealtii 


X. Education 


XI. Land Revenue Administr.' 

i-TiON 179-209 

XII. Salt, Abkari AND Miscellaneous Eevenue .. .. 210-213 

XIII, Administration of Jusiici 


XIV. Local Self-Goveknment . 


XV. Gazetteer — 

Dindignl Taluk 


Kodaikanal Taluk 


Madura Taluk 


Melur Taluk 


Nilakkottai Taluk 


Palui Taluk 


Periyakulam Taluk 


Tirumangalam Taluk 








Gexieat, Desi RiPTioN (pHgo 1) — Positiwii and In >niulai-ie.s— Taluks and chief 
towns — Pjtymology of t.lic iiamn (2)— Naturnl divisions. Hili.s (3) —The 
Palnis — Vanishanad and Andjpai.ii hills ((>) — Tho Nagjmalai (7) — Siru- 
malais— Kaiaiidamalais (8) — Aiaofarraalais (9) — Tho Nattam and Aildr 
hills — Isolated hills — Scenery (10). Rivers — The Gundar — Tirnniaiiiniut- 
tar and Palar — Ko Javanar, Nanganji, Xallatangi and Shaninuganadi — The 
Vaigai and its tribufcai-ies (M). .S(>ii-s(12). Climatk (13)— Rainfall- 
Temperatme. Gkology (!4! — Minerals (15). Flora. I-'aixa (20) — 
Cattle — Sheep and goats (,22) — Game ... ... 1-23 



PtBHinoKic Peoples (page 2'1-) - PaUcolithic man — Kistvaeix, etc. (25). 
Early History — The Pandya dynasty — Its antiquity (2G) — Appears in 
early Tamil liteiature — Its first, mention in inscription* (29) — Its sf-rua;- 
gles with tlie Pallavas, 7th century — Decline of the latter — The Ganga- 
Pallavas, 9th century (30) — Pandya ascendancy — Chola revival, 10th 
to 12th centnries^Pandja rebellions (31) — Pand\-a renaissance, 12th 
century (33) — Struggle for the throne — Decline of the Clioias, 13th 
century (311 — Pandya rule thenceforth — Maravarman Sundara-Paudya I, 
121G-3-') (35) — Arrival of the Hoysalas — Jatavarnian Sundara-Pandya I, 
1251-61 (30) -End of the Hoysala and Chola power — Maravarman Kula- 
86khara I (12G8-1308) and his successor — Splendour of the Pandya realm 
(37). Musalii*..\]Invasio\, 1310 — Musalraan dynasty at Madura (38). 
VrJAYANAGAR DOMINION, 1305 — Its effects (39)— King Achyuta's campaign, 
1532 (40). Na'yakkan Dynasty, 1559-173G— Its origin (40— Vjsvantitlia 
Nayakkaii, 1559-63 (■12) — His incnediatc succosaors (43)— Fall of Vijaya- 
nagar kingilom,I5tj5 (41) — Tiruniala Xayakkan, 1623-59 — Kedefies Vijaya- 
nagar (45) — Calls the Muliamniadans to his aid — And becomes their fenda- 
tory (iG) — His wars with Mysore — His death (47) -Kebellions among hi» 
vassals (48) — A. curious rumour — Tiruraala's capital (49) — His public build- 
ings—Mnfctu Alakadri, 1659-62 (50) — Chokkanatha (1662-82) — His 
troubles with his neiirbbours —His coB(iue8t and loss of Tanjore (51) — At- 
tacked by Mysore and the Marathas (52) — The latter seize his country 
(53) — Ranga Krishna Muttu Viiappa (1682-89) — iMatters improve — Man- 
gam mil (l(;89-1701) (54.)— Her charities— Her wars— Her tragic death 
(55)— Vijaya Ranga Chokkanatha (170t-31) (5G)— His feeble rule — Mi'nak- 
shi (1731 .");;) -Miisfilman interference — I'hid of Nayakkan dvTasty(5<S) — 
Character of its rule. Misalman Domikiok— Chanda Sahib (L7S6-40) — 


Table or oontbnts. 


A Marafclia interlude, 1740-43 — Musalman authority re'establishcd, 174J 
(59) — The rival Musalman parties ('iO). English Period — Sieg^e of 
Madura, 1751 — Col. Heron's expedition, 1755 (62) — Mahfnz Khau rents 
tlie oouiitrj' — Muhammad Vusuf sent to quiet it —Mahfnz Kh&a rebels 
(03) — Captain Calliaud's attacks on Madura, 1757 — Anarchy again prevails 
(Gtj) — Yusnf Khan again despatched — He rebels and is han<fed, 1764— His 
cliaraoter (67) — Haidar Ali's invasion, 1780 — Assignment of tlie revenue to 
the Company, 1781 ((38) -Colonel Fnllarton's expedition. 1783 — Assign- 
ment of the revenue cancelled, 1785 (69) — Assumption of the revenue, 
1790 — The Company collects the peshkash, 1792 — Story of the Dindigfil 
country— Its cession in 1792 (71)— Cession of the rest of Madura, 1801 ... 24-71 



OiNERAL Chahactkristics (page 72)- Density of the population — Its growth 
— Parent-tongne (73)— Education (74)^ — Occupations — Eeligiotis. The 
Jains. The Christians (75) — Roman Catholic Mission — American Mis- 
sion (77) — Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Mission (79). The Mi'Saljians — 
Ravutans—BelatioHS with Hindus (80). The Hindis — Villages — Houses 
(81)— Dress (82)— Food (83) — Amusements — Religious life : Brahman in- 
fluence small (84) — Popular deities: Karuppan (85) — Aiyanar — Madurai 
Viran— Others (86) — Vows — Devils (87). Principal Castes— Kalians (88) 
— Idaiyaus (96) — Valaiyans (97)— Kammalans (99) — Nattukottai Chettis 
— Vannans (101)— Kusavans— Parivarams(102) — Kunnavaus (103) — Pulai- 
yans (104)— Paliyans (105)— Tottiyans (106)— Kappiliyans (108)— Anup- 
pans (109) — Patnulkarans 72-111 



AoRicULTDRAL STATISTICS (page 112)— The different taluks— The various cropi 
(113). Wet Cultivation (114)— Paddy — Its cultivation (115) — Its varie- 
ties. Dry Cultivation (116)— Methods— Cotton (118) — Tobacco (119). 
Irrigation ^121) — Area protected— Wells (122) — TanVs and channels 
(123) — The Periyar project (126). Economic Condition of Agricul- 

Tu»i«T8 (lao) iia-iai 



Be^nnings of conservancy (page 132)— The Forest Act of 1882 (135)— The 
existing forests — Their position (136) — Their characteristics— In the east 
and south of the district (137)— On the slopes of the Palnis (138)--On the 
Falni plateaus— In the Kambam valley (139)— Plantations (110)— Minor 
produce (141)— Grazing-fees— Working plans: in the four eastern taluks 
—In the Kambam valley (142) 132-143 




0( ciii'ATiONB (page 144)--Agiiciilturc and imsturo. Arts anh IxnrsTRiES — 
Hlankut miking (145)— ^Gotton-weaving — Silk-Wfaviiig: (lifi) — Appliances 
(147) — Hyeing — Gold and silver thread \\i8) — Wax-prim inir — ("olton- 
spinninu: (140) Cigar-n aking Coffce-eniing (ir)0)--()il.s- Tanning — 
Wood-carving — Metal-work — Banjiies (151) — Jlinor intlustiics. Trauk — 
Exports — Imports — Mechanism of trade (152). Wkights ani> Mkasukks — 
Ta])les (if weight — Measures for grain- Li(iuid8 (153) — Land —Distance — 
And time — Coinajje ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 144-153 



Roads (page 154"^ — Their foriiicr state -Their oxisting condition - Tlie chief 
routes (155) — The Kottakudi ropeway — Law's ghat — The .4ttur ghat(15fj) 

— I'ridges- Travellers' bungalows and chattrjims (l')7). h'Aii.wAVa '.158) 

— Existing lines — Projected roites ... ... ... ... ... ... 154-159 



R.AiNFAr.i, (page UlUi — Li;il)ilily to famine and Hoods (Itil). 1<'ami.\f,s A.\r> 
S< AKCiTiEs- In prc-British days-In 17S:>'J— In 1812-14 (162) -In 1832 
and lyaO- In l857--ln 18615 -The great famine of 1870-78 (1615). Pluoks 
(160) 100-167 



Gknkral Ilf.ALTH (page 108)- Cholera — Fever (109) — Small-pox — Madnra foot 
— Vital Ktatistics (171'. Medical Institutions — American Mission hospi- 
tals and disj)en8aries — The Madura hospital- The Dindi^ul hospital 172) 
— Other institutions 168-173 



RarTjV History (page 174) — The three Sangams— The new Sangam (175) — 
Education under the Nayakkans. Cknsus Statistics — Figures by reli- 
gions and talnks (170). EnicATioNAi, ixsTiTUTioxs— The lasumalai Col- 
lege — The ^Lidura College (177) -Upper secondary schools— Lower second- 
ary pechools (178)— Other schools— Nowsimpers, etc. ... ... ... 174-378 





R.F. VENUE History (pane 179) — Native revenue gystems— Methods of tli** 
Navakkans (180)— Of the Marathas (181) -And of the later renters — 
British administration : in the Dindisu' conntry (183) — Mr. ^^c^>eod, first 
Collector. l700~IIis incapacity (184)— Mr. Wynch and liis maladministra- 
tion, 1794 (IS.'S) — rommissibn of enquiry, 1796 — Mr. Hurdi.s' Collector- 
ship (186) — Order restored and survey and settlement bcsfun, 1800 (187) — 
Principles of these (188) — Miscellaneous taxes ()8fl) — The finantial results 
(190)— Air. Parish becomes Collector— The di.-trict declines, 1805 (191)-- 
Mr. Hodgson's report upon it — Triennial village leases, 1808-10 — Mr. Rons 
Peter's redactions in the assessments, 1823 (192) — Further reductions, 
1831 — Abolition of vavpayir assessments, lSo4 (193) — Unsettled pa'aiyams 
(194) — British administration in the Madura country (196) — Eitticulties at 
the outset — Formal cession of the conntry, 1801 (197) — Early setcleuu-nta 
in it -The various land tenures — Government land (198) — TLafta devas- 
tanam — Sihhwndi pomppu (199) — JtritJiam — Pnruppn villagfcs —Church 
maniijam.9—Chiitirn.ra land (200) — Arcfi-kattahii — Arai-Jatfahn villatres — 
Ardha-ma7)iijai>i, etc. -Defects of the settlement — Triennial leases and 
the ryoiwari system (201' — Kednctions in assessments. The Existing 
Stkvky AKn Skttlemext, 1885-89 — Principles followed (202) — Kates 
prescril)ed (203")- Resultant effects (204)— Settlement of hill villages 
(205). iNAMs (206). ExisTixe Divisional Charges. Appendix, List of 
Collectors (208) 179-209 



Sait (page 210) — Earth-salt — Saltpetre. AbkXki and opum (211) — Arraok 
— Foreign liquor — Toddy — Opium and hemp drugs (212). Income-Tax 
(913). Stamps :!10-813 



Former Courts ^xjage 214). Civil Jvstice -E.xisting courts (215) — Amount 
of litigation— Uegititration. Criminal Justice — The vaiious tribunals — 
Crime — Criminal castes (216). Police— Previous systeu.s — '1 he existing 
force. (217). Jails. Appendix, List of Judges (218j 3U-319 



The Local Boards (page 220)— The Unions— Finances of the Boards (221). 
The five Mixicipalities — Madura Municipality (222) — Improvements 
effected by it— The water-supply scheme — Drainage (224) — Dindigul 
Municipality (225) — Water-supply —Palni Municipality (22U) — Periya- 
knlam Mxmicipality— Kodaikanal Municipality (227) 220-827 





DmniGiL Talik (page 228)— Agaram (229)— AmbSturai— Atfcur (230)— 
Ayyampalaiyam (231) — Dindii^ul— Kinakkalapuram (237) — Eriyddu (238) 
— Kannivadi— Knvakkapatti (21U)— Madnr— Maruauttu (211) — Palakka- 
nuttu — Sukkampatti (242) -- Tadikkoiului — Tavasimadai (243) — Veda- 
■andur. Kodaikaxai, Taluk (245) — Kodaikanal. Madura T\LLK(2ci) - 
Anaimalai — Anappanadi (250) — Kodim:ingalam(257) — Waduiu — ilangulaiu 
(278) — PaBumalai — Sirnpalai^Tirupparankunrain (279) — v'elliyakimdani 
(281). Mklur Taluk (282)— Ahigarkovil— AriMapatti (28(3;- Kanmgala- 
kndi- Kot.tampatti (287; -IM^lur (288) — Nattain — Tiruvadi'ir (280). 
NiLAKKoTTAl Taluk (292) — Ammayanayakkandr — Kulasekharaiikottai 
(294) — Mettnpatti— Nilakkottni (295)— Sandaiyiir (296)-S6Iavandan— 
Tiruv6dagam (297)— Tottiyankortai (298)— Vattilaguiidu. Palm Taluk 
(300) — Aivarmalai— Ayakkudi (301) — Idaiyankottjii (302) Kalayamuttiir 
(303)— Kirauur — Mauibarai—Palni (304)— Eettayauibadi (3U8)— V6Iur 
(309) — Virupakshi. Pkiuyakulam Taluk (312)— APinagaiam (313) — 
Andipatti — Anuraaudanpatti — Bodiiiayakkaiiur — ( hinnunianur (31(») — 
D^vadanapatti — Erasakkanayakkanui- — Gantamanayakkanur (317) — Gnda- 
lur (318) — Kanibam— Kombai (319) - Margaiyaiikottai (^320) — Peiiya- 
kulam — Tevarain (321) — Uttamapalaiyam — Vadaknrai (322) — Virapatidi 
(324). Tirjmangalam Taluk (325) — Anai^m- - Doddappanayakkanur 
. (326)— Elumalai— Jotilnayakkaimr— Kalligudi— Kilakkottai (327) — Kovil- 
ankolam — Kuppalanattam — Rlelakkottai — Nadukkottai v328) — Poraiydr — 
Puliyaukiilam — :?andaiyur — Saptiir (329) — Tiruinangalam — L'siUnnpatti 
(330) — Uttappauayakkanur — Vikkirauiaagulaiu .. ... ... ... ^3<8-331 





Gexeral Description — PoBition and boundaries — Taluks and chief towns — 
Etymology of the name — Natural divisions. Hills — The Palnis — Varuslia- 
nad and Xudipatti hills — Tlie Nagamalai— Sirumaluis — Karandamalais- ■ 
Alagarmalais— The Nattam and Ailfir hills — Isolated hills — Scenery. Rivers 
— The Gundar — Tirumanimuttar and Palar — Kodavanar, Nanganji, Nalla- 
tangi and Shanmuganadi — The Vaigai and its tributaries. Soils. Climate 
— Rainfall— Temperature. Geology — Minerals. Flora. Faun'A— Cattle 
— Sheep and goats— Game. 

Except Tinnevelly, Madura is the soutlierninost CoUectorate of CH.VP. I. 
the Madras Presidency. On the north it is bounded by the General 

Coimbatore and Trichinopoly districts ; on the east by Trichi- 

nopoly, a corner of Pudukkottai State and the Sivaganga Position and 
zamindari; on the south by the Sivaganga and Ramnad '°""'*"^^- 
zamindaris ; and on the whole of its western side by the great 
range of the AVestern Grhats, which here is nearly all included in 
the Native State of Travancore. Except this last mountain 
frontier, none of the boundaries of Madura follow any natural 
features, but owe tlieir origin to administrative convenience or the 
vicissitudes of history. 

Madura is made up of the eight taluks of Dindigul, Kodai- Taluks and 
kanal (comprising the Upper and Lower Palni hills to be referred '^'''*^^ iowup 
to immediately), Madura, Melur, Nilakkottai, Palni, Periyakulam 
and Tirumangalam. The boundaries and position of these will be 
evident from a glance at the map in the pocket at the end of this 
volume. Statistical particulars regarding them will be found in 
the separate Appendix. The chief towns in the district are its 




of the name. 


capital, Madara (tlie largest mufassal municipality in the Presi- 
dency) ; tlie seven places wliicli are the head-quarters of, and give 
their names to, the remaining taluks ; and Bodinayakkanur and 
Uttamapalaiyam in Periyakulam. Some account of these, and 
also of other localities of interest in the district, will be found in 
Chapter XY belovr. 

The district is named after its chief town. The word is spelt 
Madurai in Tamil, and Yule and Burnell say that it is generally 
supposed to be the Tamil form of the name of Mathura (the 
modern Muttra), the very ancient and holy city on the Jumna, 
30 miles above Agra. They point out that the name Madura 
seems to have been a favourite among eastern settlements under 
Hindu influence — there being places so called iu Ceylon and to 
the north of Mandalay and an island of the name near Java — 
and suggest that it was perhaps adopted from reverence for the 
holy city of the north. 

Another etymology is from the Tamil MaJhurai, meaning 
anything sweet, the story being that Siva was so pleased with 
the buildings erected round about his shrine by the first Pandyan 
king that, as a mark of special favour, he sprinkled the temples, 
towers , palaces and houses of the town with drops of sweet nectar 
shaken from his locks. 

There are five well-marked natural divisions in the district. 
The Palni hills are totally unlike any other part of it. Tiru- 
mangalam taluk in the south similarly differs widely from the 
rest, being a level expanse, dotted with a few granite hills, which 
is mainly covered with black cotton-soil and the scanty vegetation 
characteristic thereof. The remainder of Madura may be grouped 
into three areas; namely, first, the level tracts of rice-land 
(mainly irrigated with the water of the Periyar project referred to 
on pp. 126-130 below) which cover much of the Nilakkottai and 
Madura taluks and the southern half of Melur, and which receive 
a high rainfall ; secondly, the higher and far drier expanse of red 
soil which spreads across the north of Melur taluk, all Dindigul 
and Palni, and strongly resembles in its general features, soil and 
products the adjoining areas in Coimbatore district ; and, thirdly, 
the long Kambam Yalley which makes up the Periyakulam 
taluk (see the map) and which, owing to the perennial streams 
which flow from its numerous forests and the cool wind which 
passes down it from the great hills on the west, is the greenest 
and pleasantest part of the district. The low-lying centre of this 
valley is occupied by fertile wet land irrigated from the Yaigai, 
the Suruli, and the Periyar water flowing down the latter ; but 
the higher sides of it consist of dry, red land which is cultivated 


here and there under wells, Lut for tJie most part is as "barren CHAP. I. 
and stony as the infertile parts of the Mysore plateau and Hill*. 
resembles them markedly in general appearance. 

As will he seen from the map, the mountain ranges of Madura 
include the broad mass of the Palni liills on the west ; south of 
these, on the other side of the beautiful Kambam valley, the 
narrower, nearly parallel, Varushanad and Andipatti range ; the 
northern continuation of this, the snake-like Nagamalai which 
eventually turns south-eastwards in a wide curve nearly as far as 
Madura town ; the Sirumalais north-north-west of that place ; 
and, to the east of these, the Alagarmalais and Karandamalais. 
Round about Nattam, the town which lies within the triangle 
formed by these last three ranges, are several groups of smaller 
heights which are usually called ' the Nattam hills' ; and the 
similar elevations to the northward, round the Ailur railway- 
station, are known as ' the Ailur hills.' 

The Palnis are apparently so called from tlie to\\Ti of the same The I'alnis. 
name which lies just north of them. Their Sanskrit appellation 
is Yarahagiris, or ' pig hills,' and to account for it a legend is 
related of twelve naughty childreu, who scoffed at a devout rishi 
who dwelt amid the forests on them, were transformed by hin 
into pigs, were rescued by Siva and were eventually promoted to 
high office under the Pandya kings. Eepreseutations of this story 
appear among the sculptures in the Pudu mantapam at Madura 
(p. 271). It has led to another derivation of the name, the word 
Palni being thought by some to be a corruption of Panri-malai, 
the Tamil form of the Sanskrit Yarahagiri. 

The range is an oSshoot of the Western Ghats and is con- 
nected with the main part of that great formation. South-west 
of it runs another oifshoot called the Cardamom Hills. These 
wall in the western side of the upper part of the Kambam valley, 
but all except their steep slopes is outside Madura and the scope 
of the present volume. 

The greatest length of the Palni range is 40 miles and its 
maximum breadth 25 miles, and it is divided east and west into 
two distinct portions, the Upper Paluis and the Lower Palnis, the 
line between which runs north and south througli Neutral 
Saddle on the map. The forests on both these ranges (as also 
those on the other hills of the district) arc referred to in Chapter 
V below and the roads up them in Chajiter YII. 

The Lower Palnis consist of a confused jumble of peaks from 
3,000 to 5,000 feet high, separated from one another by steep, 
wooded valleys of great beauty. In these ravines are a few 

4 mAduea. 

OHAP. I. villages. They are all small (the largest of them, Pannaikada, 
-Hir.Ls, contains less than 3,000 inhabitants) and they are picturesquely 
surrounded with groves of tamarind, jack, mango, orange, lime, 
citron, sago and other trees. At the approaches to some of them 
may still be seen remains of the gates v^hich led through the 
hedges with which they were defended in the turbulent days 
of old. They usually possess a number of hamlets, perched at 
haphazard on the slopes of the valleys among dry cultivation and 
fields of the peculiar aroinatic -flavoured plantain for which this 
country is famous and which goes on bearing for twenty years at 
a stretch, even without irrigation. The crops include paddy, 
coffee, cardamoms, ginger, turmeric and most of the usual dry 
cereals of the plains. Coffee was first planted in these hills by 
M. Eraile de Fondclair about 1846. He obtained the seed from 
the Sirumalais, where his father had already experimented with the 
plant. The coffee gardens, like those elsewhere, have now faUen 
on evil days and several of them have been almost abandoned. 
Cardamoms and ginger require shade and are grown under the 
forest trees. The former take five years to come into bearing. 
Turmeric is planted in the open and is eighteen months before it 
is ready for gathering. 

None of the inhabitants of this part of the range are hill-men 
in the strict sense of the word, all of them having come up, in 
some distant past, from the low country. They do not differ 
greatly from the people of the plains in appearance, dress or 
physical characteristics. The principal landowners are the 
Kunnuvans, and the Pulaiyans form the chief labouring caste. 
Both these communities are mentioned again on pp. 108 and 104 
below. Telugu-speaking Chettis and Musalmans are gradually 
acquiring a good deal of the land which formerly belonged to 
the Kunnuvans ; they trade with these latter, involve them in 
financial difiiculties and then take their fields. 

The hill cattle are similarly merely animals which have been 
taken up from the plains. There are no distinctive breeds like 
the Toda buffaloes of the Nilgiris. 

Parts of this lower range are feverish. March to July are 
perhaps the worst months in them^ but no part of the year can be 
considered safe. 

The Upper Palnis run from 6,000 to 8,000 feet in elevation. 
The highest point in them (or in the district) is Vembadi Shola 
hill, which is 8,218 feet above the sea. The sanitarium of 
Kodaikanal (p. 245) stands on the southern edge of them. They 
differ from the Lower Palnis in possessing fewer ravines and 
valleys, much less forest, a colder climate and a more barren soil. 

PHYSICAL d:escription. 5 

and tliey consist largely of considerable plateaus made up of rolling- CHAP. I. 
downs covered wdth coarse grasses, hidden away in the more 
sheltered valleys of which are isolated woods called sholas. 
Except in these hollows, the soil is usually a thin stratum of black 
peaty earth of varying depth beneath which is a yellow clay, and 
in many places the underlying rock crops out. 

Tlie general fall of the range is to the north, and the slope 
in that direction is fairly gradual ; but on the south the hills 
terminate abruptly in precipitous cliffs which in parts of the 
Kambam valley are veritable walls of rock forjiiing scenery of the 
boldest and wildest description. On the north, two great valleys 
pierce the range and penetrate southwards through it as far as 
the villages of Vilpatti and Pumbarai. Up these, in days gone by, 
led two of the most frequented of all the routes followed by the 
pack animals of the merchants from Palni, then the chief centre 
for the trade with the hills. The path from Palni to Vilpatti is 
interrupted in the middle by precipitous ground over which no 
horse could travel. The other up the Pumbarai valley is easier. 
Both these, like other similar tracks on the range, have now been 
almost deserted in favour of the bridle-path from Periyakulam to 
Kodaikanal. This bridle-path. Law's Uliat, the new Attur Ghat 
(see pp. 155-6) and the roads within the Kodaikanal settlement are 
as yet the only really practicable routes on the range. Communi- 
cation between village and village is by forest roads and rough 

The Pumbarai valley is the most remarkable on the range. 
Its almost parallel sides, up which cultivation climbs amid woods 
and broken ground, are bounded by precipitous crags which look 
as if they had been formed by the sudden subsidence of the 
ground between them. I'umbarai itself stands on a terrace at the 
head of the valley and (although its inhabitants number less than 
1,500) is one of the most important of the Upper Palni villages. 
It was once suggested as the station of the revenue subordinate 
in charge of these hills and it Loasts a temple to Subrahmanya 
wliich is held in much repute. 

The houses in this upper range are usually divided by regular 
paved lanes, are built of wattle and daub, are thatched with grass 
and possess fire-places. The people are chiefly the Kunnuvans 
already mentioned, Karakkat Yellalaus and a few of the wild 
Palijans referred to again on p. 105 below. In the Upper and 
Lower I'alnis taken together there are in all fifteen Government 
villages containing a population of just under 20,000 persons. 

The crops of the upper range include paddy, coffee, poor 
varieties of wheat and barley, and garlic. This latter is the great 

patti hills. 


CHAP. I, article of export. The frequent torrents pouring down the sides 
Hills. of tlie hills, which are almost perennial, are often dammed at the 
top of a slope and thence cunning-lj led to irrigate paddy planted 
on a series of narrow terraces ingenioQsly cut in the hill-side from 
its brow down to its foot. Manure is supplied to these terraces in 
liquid form hy leading the stream through the manure-heaps. 
The paddy is a coarse variety and takes eight or ten months to ripen. 
There are wide extents of land over which the hill folk have no 
rights of occupation, and the greater part of these has been consti- 
tuted reserved forest. At present the disposal of unsurveyed and 
unassessed waste land other than reserves is governed by the 
provisions of Board's Standing Order No. 20 and not by the rules 
usual in the low country. 
Vaiuslumad After the Palnis, the largest area of hill in Madura is the line 

^"II-^'mV." which, for want of a better name, may be called the Varushanad 
and Andipatti range from the Varushanad valley at the southern 
end of it and the village of Andipatti near its northern extremity. 
Tins (see the map) runs north-eastwards from the south-western 
corner of the disti'ict, almost parallel with the Palnis and 
Cardamom liills which face it on the opposite side of the Kambam 
valley. Like them, it is an outlier of the Western Grhdts. 

The great Varushanad (' rain country ') valley, in which the 
Yaigai river takes its rise, is so called after the village of the 
same name, now deserted on account of its malaria, the interesting 
ruins of which (see p. '518 below) stand on the right bank of a fine 
bend of the Vaigai near the centre of the lower part of it. Not 
far off are the remains of Narasingapuram, also deserted. At 
the uppermost end of the valley stands the prominent Kottaimalai 
('fort hill '), 6,<JI7 feet above the sea and the junction between 
Madura, liamnad and Travancore. The valley is quite unin- 
habited except for a few Paliyans. It was apparently originally 
Government land, but was quietly annexed by the Gantamanayak- 
kanur poligar in the old days before the value of such tracts was 
properly understood. The poligar gradually exercised mder and 
wider rights of ownersliip over it, and when at last, in 1880,^ 
the attention of Government was directed to the matter, they 
reluctantly adopted the view that it was too late to attempt to 
establish their claims. 

The western side of the head of the valley is flanked by the 
highest portion of the Varushanad and Andipatti range. This 
for many years remained unsurveyed, and was merely marked in 
the atlas sheets as ' a high waving mountain overrun with an 

^ See the history of the matter in G.O., ^''o. 917 Revenue, dated 4th 
August 1880, and connected paperg. 


iinpenctraWe forest'; whence it is still called 'tLe High AYavj'. CHAP. I. 
It is the least known part of the hills of Madura! On the top of Hills. 

it is a plateau covered with evergreen forest, and the jungle runs 

down on both sides of it in great continuous masses to a belt of 
more barren land consisting of rock and rough grass. Below 
this again, at the foot of the hill, is a fairly thick line of deciduous 
forest. The High Wavy is entirely uninhabited except for a few 
of^the miserable Paliyans already referred to, who live in the 
forest at its foot. 

The eastern side of the Varushandd valley is formed by a lower, 
narrower and more broken line of liills. The most prominent 
peaks in this are holy Saduragiri in the Saptur zamindari (pro]> 
erly Chaturagiri, ' the four-square liill,' from its appearance) 
which is 4,172 feet high, is declared to be even now the residence 
of celestial sages and is a favourite place of pilgrimage ; and 
Kudiraimalai (' horse hill ') 1,262 feet above the sea. The range 
is an inhospitable region. It is rugged, gaunt and burnt up, 
clothed for the most part with only the scantiest sprinkling of 
thorny trees, euphorbias and cactus, covered often with stupend- 
ous blocks of naked grtinite and visited by no one but a few 
herdsmen and their flocks. The rock of which it is formed contains 
numerous narrow dykes of a hard stone which weathers more 
slowly than the rest, and these stand out in all kinds of curious 
shapes and from a distance often closely resemble L-uildings and 
lines of fortification. 

From the extreme northern end of these rugged heights the The 
odd Ndgamalai \' snake hilP) range strikes oft east and then ^"^'agauiai.ii. 
south and runs to within three or four miles of Madura town. It 
is well named, being a long, straight ridge of barren rock of very 
uniform height ; and local legends declare that it is the remains 
of a huge serpent, brought into existence by the magic arts uf the 
Jains, which was only prevented by the grace of Siva from 
devouring the fervently Saivite city it so nearly ap})roaches. 
All the last part of it consists of granuhir quartz of a very light 
colour (pale red or yellow) and this renders it a most conspicuous 
item in the landscape round Madura. 

On the eastern side of the district the most considerable hills sirunialnis. 
are the Sirumalais (' little mountains ') which stand some sixteen 
miles north of Madura. They consist of a compact block almost 
twelve miles across, and their highest points are a little over 
4,400 feet above the sea. On the top of them is a basin-shaped 
plateau some 3,00U feet high, in the north-eastern corner of which 
ftre three small villages inhabited by immigrants from the low 




country. The climate is very malarious and the only Europeans 
who have ever attempted to settle on the range (the American 
missionaries, see p. 250) were speedily compelled to quit it. The 
fever of 1809-10 committed great havoc in these hills and the 
Survey Account of 1815-16 says that there were then only 89 
people left upon them. 

The range has always been noted for its great fertility. The 
earliest Tamil poems extant speak of the many varieties of fruits 
which it produced in abundance, and it is still famous for its 
plantains (which are vociferously hawked at all the neighbouring 
railway-stations), its coffee and its cardamoms, and grows all the 
fruit trees already mentioned as occurring in the Lower Palni 
valleys. The Survey Account speaks with enthusiasm, also, of 
the timber trees ' of prodigious height and magnitude ' which 
grow upon it in those days ; but most of the range belongs to 
the Ammayanayakkanur zamindari and its forests have been so 
recklessly denuded that much (f the great damage done by the 
floods of 1877-78 (the breaching of road^, of the railway, and of 
950 tanks in Melur taluk alone) was attributed by the then 
Collector to the utter bareness of its slopes. 

Mr. William Elliott, Judge of Madura from 1838 to 1840, 
appears to have been the first to start planting coffee on the 
range, and he is said to have obtained his seeds and young plants 
from Mysore. His estate (which is still called ' Elliottdale ') 
eventually passed to M. Faure de Fondclair (father of the M. 
Emile de Fondclair already mentioned as the pioneer of coffee- 
planting on the Lower Palnis ) and from his family to the Eoman 
Cath.^lic Mission. ' Vans Agnew's estate ' is another property 
on the range which is under European management. The coolies 
who work on the estates go up every day and return to their 
villages at night. The coffee grown is considered superior to 
that from the Palnis. In 1870 Capt. E. A. Campbell, late of the 
Madras Army, was experimenting on these hills, on behalf of the 
Cotton and Silk Supply Associations, with mulberry trees and 
exotic cotton. 

K&ranila- The Karandauialais, which stand some eight miles north-east 

malais. of the Sirumalais, measure about six miles across and are crowned 

by a little plateau un which are three small villages. From all 
sides of this run down low ridges enclosing steep valleys each of 
which has its own local name and gives rise to a small rivulet. On 
the southern slope are the remains of a fine cocoanut garden and 
of a hunting-seat of a former poligar. 


The Alagarmalais, so called from tlio fa-nous tomi>lo to CU.W. T. 
Ala^arsvarai v/hioh etar.ds at the soatliern f(jot (»f thoin tA-e've Hills. 
miles from Madara (see p. 2.S2), consist of a ridtre about ten miles j^]^^^^ 
in length and 1,000 foet above the sea at its highest point, from malaij. 
which lesser ridges branch otf in every direction I'lTiniag valleys 
which again have each a local name. 

The JVattam and Ailur hills merit no lengthy detcription. TheXaitam 
They are little, stony ridges and hummocks with steep sides ^J'lfg'^'^'^'" 
covered with the shallowest soil, and are of value only for the icon 
ore they contain and the scrub they support. 

Besides all the above, the district contains a large number Isolarcdh lla 
of isolated peaks and heights which belong to no regular range. 
Some of these are worthy of passing mention. The Diudigul 
rock, the Anaiinalai and the Pasumalai are separately relVrred 
to later on fpp. 2-32, 254 an 1 2:S). Eangamalai {o,0'J\) feet), 
en the northern frontier of Dindigul, is excee<ling]y pr^.miuent 
throughout most of that taluk and Palni. On one of its 
precipitous sides is a temple and a sacred pool iuto which the 
devout throw money and jewellery in performance of vows, and 
on top of it is a cauldron which is filled with ghee and lighted ut 
Kartigai and l)ipavali. Karumalai (' black hill,' 2, '"'2 7 feet) 
five miles to the south-sou'h west, is similarly sucrf^d, peopla 
going op on Saturdays to the spring which issues from its side 
from beneath two big boulders leaning towards one another. 
Kondrangimalai (2,701 feet), tea miles away on the rorthern 
frontier of Palni, is even more striking in appearance than either 
of these. The foot of it is clothed with jungle, and out of this 
rises a very steep, tapenng, sugar-loaf peak, formed of one mass 
of solid rock, bare of any vegetation. On the top of it (as is the 
case with so many of the striking peaks in this district) is a tiny 
shrine, the ascent to which passes up steps cut in the rock and is 
provided with iron stanchions where the climb is steepest. The 
hi'l is a most not,iceable landmark for miles in every direction. 
It is the h>indsomest peak of its kind in all Madira, aud the 
morning mists cling lovingly round it long after they have risen 
from the side., of its plainer rivals. 

There are surprisingly few noticeable tors among all the 
wildernesses of rock with which tlie district abounds. Perhaps 
the most reniHrkable 15 that on S6;nagiii, a hill four miles east of 
the eastern edge of the Alagarmidais. This consists of one huge 
j«tone balanced upon a much sleniierer pedestal, the whole being 
perhaps 80 feet hi^rh. It is visible over half Melur taluk aud 
Mr. Bruce Foote has likened its appearance from the low grouud 
on the north to that of the head and neck of a bcaatiful child. 








The Gundar, 

muttar ani 

and Shanmu- 

These many ranges and hills make Madura a very picturesque 
country. 'J'hey form a background wliich redeems from the 
commonplace even its least inviting portion (the Llack cotton-soil 
country of Tirumangalam, diversified only by scattered babul 
trees and shimmering mirages) and which elevates its most 
charming corner (the deep Kambam valley) into a high position 
among the entirely delightful localities in the Presidency. Their 
colouring would exhaust the vocabulary of the most facile word- 
p.'iinter and their outlines vary infinitely from the gentlest of 
grass-covered sloj)es to the wildest of precipitous, bare crags. 
Among them all, the Palnis stand without a rival ; whether when 
at the first dawn a peak here and a slioulder there advance, 
capriciously, into the warm light, leaving all the rest in mysteri- 
ous gloom ; at evening, when their topmost heights glow with the 
rose-colour of the fading sunset ; or at night, when the big cliffs 
resume once more their silent watch over the villages below. 
Perhaps of all the many moods of this range the most memorable 
is when, during a break in the rains, its summits, looking loftier 
than ever, remain wreathed in heavy clouds, while its slopes, 
seamed with a hundred torrents and cascades, gleam in the fitful 
sunlight with every shade of green and blue, from jade-colour to 
emerald, from turquoise to lapis lazuli. 

The multiplicity of hills renders the drainage system of the 
district somewhat complicated. It is enough to mention shortly 
here the direction and general nature of the various rivers. The 
irrigation works which depend upon them are referred to below 
in Chapter IV. 

• The Tirumangalam taluk drains south-eastwards away from 
the Varushanad and Andipatti range into the Gundar and its 
tributary the Kamandalanadi, which unite outside the district 
within the Ramnad zamindari. The Gundar flows through Tiru- 
mangalam town, but not until it reaches Kamudi in the Eamnad 
country is it utilised to any extent for irrigation. The river is 
very uncertain, being often in high flood one day and nearly dry 
the next. 

The north of Melur taluk drains eastwards into the Tirumani- 
muttar and the Palar, which are also fickle streams of little 
importance within this district but more useful in the lower part of 
their courses. 

The red soil plains of Dindigul and Palni in the north of the 
district drain due northwards into four almost parallel rivers 
which rise in the Palnis and eventually fall into the Amaravati 
and so into the Cauvery. These (see the map) are the Kodavanar, 


Nanganji, Nallatangi and Slianmuganadi. Like tlie Gundar, they CHAP. I. 
are often in heavy flood one day and trickling" streamlets the Kivers. 
next. The picturesque falls of the Nanganji near Yirupakshi are ' 

referred to in the account of that place on p. 809 below. U'he most 
useful of these four rivers is the Shanmuganadi (' six-faced 
stream '), which receives the drainage of the great Vilpatti and 
Pumlbarai valleys already mentioned. Six principal torrents 
flowing down from these combine to form it, and hence its name. 

The streams thus far referred to drain the outskirts of the The Vaigai 
district. The centre is included in the main river system — that ^'^■! '^^ tribu. 
of the Vaigai and its tributaries. These latter all rise in the 
Palni hills or the Varushanad and Andipatti range, and join the 
Vaigai in the valley which lies between these two. Thereafter 
the river receives no tributaries of any importance and flows 
south-eastwards past Madura town into the Bay of Bengal not 
far from Eamnad. The geography of this upper part of the 
"Vaigai and the courses of the affluents it there receives can be 
better grasped from the map than from any quantity of written 

It will be seen that the river rises in the Varushandd valley 
already mentioned and at first flows due north in a winding bed. 
Nearly parallel with it meanders the Suruli, which drains the 
whole of the upper pait of the adjoining Kambam valley. The 
head waters of this latter fling themselves down from the lower 
spurs of the High Wavy in a beautiful fall which is visible from 
the road along the bottom of the valley. Near here are sacred 
caves (the chief is the Kaildm pudavu) whicli are annually visited 
by many pilgrims, who bathe in the river and sacrifice goats. 
The water has the property (possessed by several of the Derby- 
shire streams) of ' petrifying ' objects placed in it. The river is 
almost entirely supplied from the south flank of the Kambam 
valley (the hills on the other side drain northwards into Travan- 
core) and until lately it was of comparatively small importance, 
Recently, however, the biggest of the Travancorc rivers, the 
Periyar, has been dammed up (see p. 126), and turned, by a tunnel 
blasted through the watershed, down into the Kambam valley, 
where it is led into the bed of the Suruli. In consequence tho 
latter is now full of water for nine or ten months in the year. 

About two miles south of Allinagaram the Suruli is joined by 
tho Teni, an almost perennial stream which rises in the deep 
Bodinayakkanur valley. Another two miles further on, their 
combined waters join the Vaigai and they arc no more heard of. 
The Vaigai is now a deep and rapid stream flowing in a narrow 






channel. It soon chang-es its direction and runs cast-north-east- 
wards under the northern slopes of the Aifdipatti hills and the 
J^Iaganialai. In tliis part of its course it is met. hy the Varaha- 
nidi ('boar river') and tlie Manjalar (' yellow river '). The 
fo finer of these runs down from the Upper I'aluis through Teri- 
jakulam town, where it unites with the Pambar, a stream well 
kngwn at Kodaikanal and the falls of which are a prominent 
object from the bridle-path leading to that station. The Manja- 
lar (sometimes called ' the Yattilagionda river ') dashes down the 
side ol' the Palnis just above Devadauapatti in a splendid cataract 
200 feet high which is visible from the main road there, and 
then races past A^'attilagundu, is joir ed by tl.e A yynmpalaijara river 
from tie Lower Palnis and flows into the Vaigai. Immediately 
afterwards, the latter turns and begi-^s the soutt-easterly 
conr?o wluch it continues until it reaihes the st a. Just at the 
point where it rims under the corresponding bend iu the Naga- 
malai it is crossed by the important Peranai and Chittanai darns 
referred to in Chapter IV, the former of which renders available 
for irrigation the water of ti:e Periyar which has reached it 
through the Suruli. 

Before the advent of this water the Vaigai used to be in 
heavy flood for a week or two and dry for almost all the rest of 
the vear ; and its supply was so inadequate that in normal years 
hardly any water escaped being diawn off by the channels which 
lead off from either bank, so that at the point where it enters the 
Bay of Bengal the stream was reduced to the merest trickle. 
Now even below the two dam?, the flow is more considerable and 
more constant. 

The soils of Madura belong principally to the red ferruginous 

series, the black varieties being 
uncommon and the purely are- 
naceous sorts entirely absent. 
The marginal table shows the 
percentage of the assessed area 
of ryotwari and minor inam land 
in each taluk wliich is covered 
with black and red soils respect- 
ively. It will be noticed that, 
excluding the Palni hills, Tiru- 
roangalam is the only taluk in 
which the proportion of black 
cotton-soil is considerable, and 
tliat the other taluks are almost cntirel}' covered with red earths. 








pq 1 HH 









I*(i; lyjikulani 








'i i.urjargriluni 

Total . 



8 J 






The cotton-soil of Tiremangalain differs, however, from that of 
the Deccan districts ; being- more friaWe, less retentive of mois- 
ture and more suited to irrigation. It is, in fact, regularly 
irrigated from both tanks and wells, and systematically irrigated 
paddy may often be seen growdng side by side with cotton 
cultivated as a dry crop. 

The rainfall of the district is referred to in some detail on 
p. 160 below. The average fall is 33"88 inches (half cf which is 
received in the north-east niimsoon between October and Decem- 
ber) and is lightest in Palni and Dindigal and heaviest (excluding 
the Palni hills) in Madura and Melur. 

The temperature is officially recorded at Madura ami Kodai- Temierature. 

kanal, but figures for 
the latter are avail- 
able for only a short 
period. The aver- 
age maxima and 
minima and the mean 
for 'each month at 
Madura are shown 
in degrees Fahren- 
heit in the margin, 
and alongside is 
given the daily velo- 
city of the wind in 
each month. These 
figures do not, how- 
ever, give an idea 
of the extremes 
which are sometimes 
reached. The mer- 
cury has been known, for example, to fall to 59*2° and to rise 
to 105-5°. 

The annual mean temperature is four degrees higher than in 
the next recording station to the north, Coimbatore, and in every 
month in the year the mean in Madura is in excess of the figure 
at that station. Compared with its other next neighbours, 
Trichinopoly and Tinnovclly, Madura will be found to be a degree 
or two cooler than the latter in every month in the year, but 
slightly hotter than the former in the four months November to 
February. TJie worst part of the year is April, May and June, 
and it is only in November, December anti January that tlie mean 
temperature is below 80°. Dindigul, however, is considerably 





« 2 
tfc s 

£ 3 

a; .- 

^ a 























fc-7 9 

80 4 


100- 1 
















7.' -8 



September ... 








82 7 


November ... 





December ... 
The year 




117 6 


1 73-9 



{ 99-8 




CHAP. I, cooler than Madura, and daring the south-west monsoon the heat 

Climate. in the Xambam vallej is reduced V>y the pleasant breeze which 

blows down it from the hills. In Madura town, as the figures 

above show, the only 2:)eriods when the wind is at all strong are 

after the north-east, and during the south-west, monsoon. 

The annual mean humidity of Madura (70'2) is slightly less 
than that of Tinne\elly and rather higher than that of Trichinopoly. 
Of the five-day periods for which the Meteorological department 
works out averages, the driest in the year (humidity 61"6) is 
usually that from June 20th to 24th and the wettest (humidity 
78-8) from November 7th to 11th. 

Geologically, Madura is not interesting. Except a narrow 
alluvial strip along the Yaigai valley (which generally consists of 
a very sandy loam) the whole of the district is covered with 
gneissic rocks. These have not yet been examined in any great 
detail, especially in the north of the district, but in the centre 
and south they may apparently be divided^ into the following six 
groups :-- 

1. Lower granitoid gneiss — Tirumangalam group. 

2. Lower granular quartz rock — Kokkulam group. 

3. Middle granitoid gneiss — Skandamalai group. 

4. Middle grauular quartz rock — Nagamalai group. 

5. Upper granitoid gneiss — Melur group. 

6. Upper granular quartz rock — Alagarmalai group. 

The lowest of this series, the lower granitoid gneiss group, 
is the set of beds which occur in the Tirumangalam taluk. The 
next lowest, the lower granular quartz rock, forms a ridge about 
two miles to the south of the Nagamalai and has been named 
after the village of Kokkulam (off the Tirumangalam-Solavandan 
road) which stands close by one portion of it. This can be 
traced, despite some gaps, for many miles. Northwards from 
Kokkulam the ridge runs parallel to the Nagamalai for a great 
distance and to the south it extends beyond the Skandamalai (or 
Tirupparankunram hill) before it disappears under the alluvium. 
The middle granitoid gneiss group is well exemplified in the 
Skandamalai and in some smaller hills to the north-west of this 
near the Tirumangalam-Solavandan road. The fourth of the six 
groups, the middle granular quartz rock, forms the Nagamalai 
and its continuation the Pasumalai, and then disa^jpears south- 
wards under the alluvium. The upper grauitoid gneiss group 

^ See Mr. Bruce Foote'B description of them in the Memoirs of the Geol. 
Sury. of India, xx, pt, Ij H ff-j from which the pi-eeent account is abstracted. 


occupies tlie country to the nortli-west of Tirnvadur in the Meh'ir CHAP T. 
taluk anrl stretches to the north-east as far as tlic alluvium of GKor.ooy. 

the Palar and to the south-west down to the valley of the Yaigai. 

The numerous hills which are ^formed of this rock in this tract 
are conspicuous for their holdness of form and Leauty of colour. 
Among- them is the curious Anaimalai referred to on p. 254, 

The uppermost of the six groups, the upper granular quartz 
rock, appears prominently in the hold scarp of the south-east side 
of the Alagarraalai. 

In the west of the district charnockite is found, and the 
Palnis consist entirely of this rock. In the Yarushanad hills are 
hornblende schists and granulites, penetrated by veins of mica- 
bearing pegmatite. 

Minerals are extremely rare. At Tirumal, a village five miles Minerals, 
north-east of Kalligudi railway-station in the Tirumangalam taluk, 
is a broad band of white crystalline limestone which may be 
traced nearly two miles to the eastward and has been much 
quarried, and a little to the westward of Kokkulam (two miles 
north of Tirumal) are two smaller limestone beds. This rock is 
also scattered through other parts of the district. From the 
Gopalasvami hill, in the extreme south of Tirumangalam near the 
road to Srivilliputtur, red and white fragments of transparent 
quartz are obtained. Short and small quartz veins also occur 
on the western slope of the Sirumalais east and south-east of 
Ammayanayakkanur railway-station. Perhaps the best building- 
stone in the district is that quarried from the Skandamalai. 
The iron ore found near Kottampatti in Melur taluk and the gold- 
washing at Palakkaniittu in Dindigul are referred to in the 
accounts of those places in Chapter XV (pp. 287 and 241) below. 

In 1899 the Greological Survey of India acquired an interest- 
ing meteorite which had been found near Kodaikanal. It is only 
the second iron mctc.>vite which has been discovered in India and 
weighed about 85 lbs. against the 10 lbs. of the other known 
example, which fell in the Vizagapatam district in 18~0. It was 
composed almost entirely of nickeliferous iron.' 

Botanically, the most interesting parts of the district are the Flora. 
Palni and Sirumalai Hills. Dr. Eobert Wight, the well-known 
botanist, vi>ited a portion of the former in 1836 and recorded his 
observations in the Madras Journal of Liferafure and Science for 

' See the Survey's General Report for 1890-1900, 4, for moro particiilars 
of it. 


CHAP. 1. April 18^7 ; and in the sarno mngfizitiG for Jan nary-Marcli 1858 

. Fr.oRA. is (Jolonol Bodiiomo's account of tho ' Flora of the Piilnej Hill' 

whifli enumerates over 703 species of plants, exclusive of Compo- 

sittT, Gra>nin(B and Cryplojams wliicli wore not determined. 

Wight says : — 

' The natural productions of the country are eufficiently varied to 
give us reason to put a high estimate on its probable capahillties. In 
the course of about 15 days I collected little short of 500 species of 
plants, and without any attempt on my part to preserve specimens of 
all the plants in flower or fruit at this season ; many being rejected 
merely because 1 was not in want of specimens. It did not in bhort 
occur to me at the time, which it has since, to compare the vegetable 
productions of these hills with the recorded ones of the country generally. 
Tliis I greatly regret, as I tnink, were a somewhat perfect collection 
formed, it would be found to contain a number of species amounting to 
from one-half to four-fifths of the whole peninsula flora, so far as we 
are yet acquainted with it, and to present a vast number of species 
peculiar to themselves. Among the European forms observed were 
two species of Ranunculus; two oi Anemone ; three of Clematis; two 
of Berberis ; a new Parnassia ; two of Drcsera (sun-dew) ; one Stellana, 
and one Cerastium (chick-weed) ; a rose, very abundant ; three or four 
kinds of rasps or brambles ; one Potennlhi ; one Circaa (enchanter's 
night shade) ; a tree allied to the Bilberry {Thihaudt'a); one AnagalUs; 
two oi Lysimichia, both allied to British species; the common dock, 
very abundant about the vilbiges; and three kinds of rushes (Juncvs), 
one very nearly allied to the common British rush {Jimcus rffasus). 
Among the truly tropical forms, a species of Magnolia, the first I 
believe that has been discovered in the peninsula, is the most interest- 
ing; the RJiododendron ncbihs, very abundant; a very large and hand- 
some Ilex (holly), but without the thorny leaves of the European pi int ; 
a sj)Gcics of Gordonia, a tree resembling In its flowers the Car'ie'ia and 
tea plant; a veiy remarkable s;k cies of fig, with a climbing stem, 
bearing fruit of the size of large oranges, in clusters along the stems; 
besides many other interesting trees which 1 fear it would be tedious 
to mention. Four species o? palms are met with ou the higher 
regions, name'}', the sago palm [Canjota urcns), a wild areca palm, the 
Jien(ir,cl-ia co?idiipana, and an alpine species of date. The grasses aio 
very numerous but the predominant tribe (Andro^'O^inex) are not those 
best suited for pasturage, being generally of a coarse nature and 
highly aromatic quality. Ferns, m- ss s, and lichens, abound : among 
which, the moit conspicuous is a branching variety of the Tre^ fern 
[Aldophila) very common in thick jungles ou moist banks of ttream=.' 

Dr. A. G. Bourne, f.r.S., and Mrs. Bourne have since studied 
the flora in the neighbourhood of Kodaikanal, and the former has 
vorj kindly permitted the reproduction of the following extracts 


from hia introductory note to tLe list of plants they observed in CIIAP. I. 
that part : — Flora. 

' I have been able to trace most of the plants mentioned by 
Wight. Ranunculus reniforml>i, Wall, and B. Walh'c/nanus, W. 
and A. are both very common. The two species of Anemone are 
doubtless merged into A. rwularis, Ham, ; that at any rate is the 
only species I find. The three Clematis are C. smilacifolia, Wall., 
C. GoiirianOy Eoxb. and C. Wiyhtiana, Wall. The two Berberids 
are B. nepalensis, Spr. and B. aristata, DC. The new ' Parnassia ' 
is doubtless Parnassia nnjsorcnsis, Heyne. The Droseras are 
B. Burmaimi, Valil. and D. peltata, Sm. The latter literally 
clothes the banks in certain places. Stellaria media occurs and 
is common in certain places only, while Cerastium indicum is 
abundant in a few spots. Ros(\ LesehetiauUiana, AV. & A., the 
only wild rose I found, is common in a few localities only. The 
* three or four kinds of rasps or brambles ' resolve themselves into 
Rubus molluccanus, L., R. ellipticus, Sm. and R. lasiocarpus, Sm. 
The latter is doubtless Roxburgh's R. racemosus. Potentilla Les- 
chenaultiana is very common. Wight's Girccea turns out to be C. 
alpina. With regard to the ' tree allied to the Bilberry,' I have 
three species of Vaccinium. Anagallis arvensis is very rare except 
near Pumbarai. Lysimachia Leschenaultii, Duby and L. deltoides 
both abound. Rumex nepalensis^ Spreng. is the only ' dock ' 
I found and there was not much of that. Juncus glaucus, Ehrh. 
{J. effusus, Steud.) and J. prismatoca^'pus, Br. are both common. 

With regard to the ' truly tropical forms ' the Magnolia 
mentioned by Wight and subsequently by Beddome must be 
Mtchelia champaca, and this is more frequently met with on the 
Piimbarai side, which they chiefly explored, than near Kodaikanal ; 
it also occurs on the Sirumalais, but in both places has been 
doubtless planted, as it is not found far away from the villages. 
Rhododendron arboreum, var. nilagirica, Ilex malabarica, I. Gard- 
neriana and three other species, Gordonia obtusa, Ftcus macrocarpa, 
with its ' fruit the size of large oranges,' all find a place in my list. 

The soil on the hills varies in depth from a few inches to a 
few feet, while in many places patches of fairly smooth bare rock 
are exposed ; this is sometimes full of cracks and covered with 
loose boulders. In such places, even where there is not sufficient 
soil for grass, may be found Cyanoiis arachnoidea, Anisochilus, 
Kalanchoe, Aneilema Koenigii, and here and there groups of 
Osbeha Wightiana attaining from five to six feet in height, 
all rooting in the crevices. Where there is a little soil, the 
commonest grasses will be Andropogon contortus and A. lividus, the 



CIIAP. I. spikes, stems, and (when mature) tlie leaves, of wliich form tlie 
Flora. chief factor in giving the hill tops their purplish tinge. A little 
lower down come great tufts of Pollmia quadrinervis var. 
Wiyhtii, with its fascicles of rich brown spikes on stems generally- 
several feet in height, of Ischcemum ciliare, with its pairs of thick 
rich purple spikes, of ArundineUa villosa, with its solitary untidy- 
looking spikes, and of Andropo(/on zeylanicus and A. Wiyhtiana, 
both with long graceful panicles — the former mostly purplish in 
colour with bright yellow anthers and rich purple styles, and the 
latter a most beautiful grass, the outer glumes of the pedicelled 
spikelets being salmon-coloured, the sessile spikelets leraon-yellow 
(as are the anthers and styles) while the awns are over two inches 
long and yellowish brown in colour. Among these tall species, 
in addition to those above mentioned, occur Tripogon bromoides, 
ArundineUa mesophylla (peculiar, so far as I know, to these hills) 
and, keeping quite low on the ground, Eragrostis amabilis. At 
rather lower elevations, say 5,000 feet downw^ards, one may come 
across miniature forests of Andropogon Nardus and, though not 
usually in the same localities, A. schoenanthus, the former readily 
distinguishable here from the latter by the almost electric green 
of its leaves. On the ghdt are some splendid clumps of 
Andropogon halepemis and Garnotia. 

To return to the high hills, almost everywhere are to be found 
among the grass Brunella vulgaris, Knoxia mollis, Wahlenbergia 
gracilis, Leucas hehanthemifolia, Indigofera pedicellata, Cyanotis 
Wighiii (in better soil only, than C. arachnoidea will grow in — it 
may generally be found at the bottom of the pits which have beeu 
dug for planting trees in if they have been left empty for a year 
or two), Poly gala sibirica and, frequently with it and closely 
resembling it in leaf and habit, Crotalaria albida. The small- 
leaved variety of C. rubiginosa is common in some places and 
commoner stiU. is a Crotalaria which I cannot match. This occurs 
in perfectly glabrous forms in some places ; it attains its largest 
size where it grows in good soil on a road-side bank and its 
branches hang down. Yery common also in similar situations 
are two Valerians ( V. Hookeriana on the Kodaikanal side, V. 
Beddomei on the Piimb^rai side), Striga lutea, Gentiana quadrifaria^ 
to see the azure blue of whose flowers one must go out in the 
middle of the day, Micromeria bijlora^ the leaves of which are most 
delicately aromatic, Bupleurum disticophyllum , Curculigo orchioides, 
with its three or four leaves and single yellow flower coming up 
out of the ground, and, sometimes in great patches making a whole 
hill-side white, Anaphalis oblonga and A. brevi/olia. 


A notable feature ol many of those liill-sicles is the number of CHAP. I. 
small landslips whicli liave occurred owing- to the surface soil Flora 
slipping- on the smooth rock. Sometimes they look like the foot- 
steps of a gigantic animal wliich lias slipped in going up hill ; at 
others they are on a larger scale and an entire liill-side appears to 
be terraced with steps from tliree to four feet high and from five 
to six feet Avide ; in some places they have occurred on a huge 
scale and, as suggested hy Wight, the whole of the Pumbarai 
■valley with its numerous offshoots looks as though it had been 
formed in this way. Going down the slopes to the' bottoms of 
the valleys one constantly passes through masses of Strobikmt/ies 
JCunthianus and below it bracken. At the bottom flourish Dipsacus 
Leschenaultii and alas ! huge thistles — Cnicus WalUchii — and 
Heradeum SprerKjeUamum and H. rigens. The streamlet at the 
bottom runs as a rule between six and eight feet underground, 
showing- itself here and there at the bottom of deep holes formed 
by the falling in of the earth. In the tunnels live jackals and 
the hill mongoose, Herpesies viiUcollis. The vertical, or even 
under-cut, sides of the holes are covered with ferns, and here 
one may constantly find Biumea hieracifolia, Parnassia mysorensis, 
HydrocotyJe, Se^^picuJa indica and in some places the charming 
little Circcea aJpina. Very few other plants grow in tliese holes, 
into many of which very little light penetrates. 

When there is a large damp area the ground is generally 
bright with flowers — in contrast to most similar spots on the 
Nilgiris. In such places grow Lysimachia Leschenaultii, FedicuJaris 
zeylanica, Impatiens tenella, Osbekia cupuJaris, Exacum airopur- 
pureum, Scdyrium nepalense, AnapJialis Wightiana, BanuncuJus 
reniformis, Dipsacm Leschenaultii, Oommelina clavata, Eriocauhn, 
Lenttbuhrtce, Xyris, Hypericum napoulense and H. j'aponicwn, and 
Drosera. The commonest plants forming road-side hedges are the 
species of Rubus and in some places Adenostemma. Scattered trees 
are almost sure to be Photinia, Vaccinium, Eurya or Bhododendron, 
Other plants which one is pretty sure to meet with hcte and 
there in any walk are Artemisia, Polygonum Chineme^ Heradeum 
Sprengelianum, Pimpinella, Coleus barbatus, Hedyoiis Sweriioides and 
H. articularis, Sopubia irifida and S. Delphinifolia, Gaultheria 
fragrantissima , Senedo zeylanica and S. LaranduJif alius , Anaphalis 
artstata, Cnicus WalUchii, various species of Pledranthus, Campanula 
fulgens, Emilia Sond/ifolia, Flemingia, etc., etc. Strobilanfhes Kun- 
ihianus forms great patches here and there and even covers 
whole hill-sides. The commonest ground orchids are Spiranthes 
aushrdis, of wliich I have counted over fifty spikes while standing 
in one spot, Habemria elliptica and H. Gakandra.' 



CHAP. I. The flora of the Sirumalais has not yet "been examined in 

Flora. detail, but Dr. Bourne's collectors found there a number of 
plants which do not occur on the Palnis, and the range deserves 
systematic study. 
Fauna. The indigenous cattle of the district are small and of no 

Cattle. special value, and the Kappiliyans of the upper part of the Kam- 
bam valley (see belo^) are the only people who take any trouble 
to improve the breed. In Melur and Tirumangalam ploughing 
is even done (especially by the Kalians) with cows. In Dindigul 
and Melur' the ryots import ani]nals from Manapdrai and 
Marungdpuri in Trichinopoly, while Palni taluk is partly supplied 
with Coimbatore {' Kongandd ') cattle. The richer ryots in Tiru- 
mangalam also purchase Mysore bullocks for ploughing the 
cotton-soil there, which requires strong animals, In many 
villages cattle are specially raised for the j'allikats referred to 
on p. 83 beloWj and these have been described' as being a 
special breed. 

The chief cattle market in the district is that held at Madura 
on the occasion of the great Chittrai festival at the temple there. 
As many as 30,000 head have been counted at this fair and it is 
perhaps the largest in the southern districts. The majority of 
the foreign animals brouglit to it are those reared round about 
Manapdrai and in Coimbatore, but some Mysore cattle from 
Salem are also offered for sale. 

The number of ploughing-bullocks per cultivated acre is, as 
elsewhere, smallest in the dry taluks and largest where wet lands 
are most common. The supply is at present insufficient on the 
land in Melur whicli is being newly irrigated with the Periyar 
water. Here and there cholam is grown for fodder, being sown 
very thickly so as to produce a thin stalk, and round Vedasandur 
in Dindigul grass is cultivated on dry fields ; but otherwise no 
special steps are taken to provide cattle food. Einderpest is not 
uncommon and caused great loss in Periyakulam taluk in 1899. 

The Kappiliyans of Kambam above alluded to are immigrants 
from the Canarese country and speak that language. They 
possess a herd of about 150 cattle of a distinctive breed (small, 
active, round-barrelled animals, well known for their trotting 
powers) which they say are the descendants of some cattle they 
brought with them when they first came to these parts. These 
deserve a note. They are called the devaru dvn in Canarese or in 
Tamil the iambirdn mddu, both of which phrases mean ' the sacred 

^ Bulletin No. 44, Vol. II, of the Madras Department of Land Eecords 
and Agriculture. 


herd.' The cows are never milked and are only used for breed- CHAP. I. 

ing. Members of the herd which die are buried, and are not Fauna. 

(as elsewhere) allowed to bo desecrated by the chuckler's skin- 

ning-knife. The leader of the herd is called ' the king- bull ' 

(patfadu dvu), and when lio dies a successor is selected in a quaint 

manner with elaborate and expensive ceremonial. On the 

auspicious day fixed for the election the whole herd is assembled 

and camphor, plantains, betel and nut and so forth are solemnly 

offered to it. A bundle of sugar-cane is then placed before it, 

and the attendant Kdppiliyans watch eagerly to see which of the 

bulls of the herd will approach and eat this. The animal which 

first does so is acclaimed as the new ' king bull ' and is formally 

installed in his office by being daubed with saffron and kunku- 

mam and garlanded with flowers. Thereafter he is treated by 

the whole caste as a god, is given the holy name of Nandagopala- 

svami, and is allotted, to watch over and worship him, a special 

attendant who enjoys the inams which stand in his name and 

is the custodian of the jewels and the copper grants which were 

presented in days gone by to his predecessors. There are now 

nine of these grants, but they do not state the Sakha year in 

which they were drawn out and the names of the rulers who 

conferred them are not identifiable. The king bulls are credited 

with having performed many miracles, stories of which are stUl 

eagerly related, and their opinion is still solicited on matters of 

importance. The herd, for example, is not taken to the hills for 

the hot weather until its king has signified his approval by 

accepting some sugar and milk placed near him. His attendant 

always belongs to a particular sub-division of the caste and 

when he dies his successor is selected in as haphazard a fashion 

as the king bull himself. Before t]:e assembled Kdppiliyans, 

puja is offered to the sacred herd ; and then a }'oung boy is 

seized with divine inspiration and points out the man who is to be 

the new holder of the ofPce. 

The herd receives recruits from outside, owing to the Hindus 
round about dedicating to it all calves whicli are born on the first 
day of Tai, but these are not treated as being quite of the elect. 
The K^ppiliyans have recently raised Es. 11,000 by taxing all 
members of the caste in the Periyakulam taluk for three years, 
and have spent this sum in building roomy masonry quarters at 
Kambam for the sacred herd. Tlieir chief grievance at present 
is that the same grazing foes are levied on tlieir animals as ou 
mere ordinary cattle, which, they urge, is equivalent to treating 
gods as equals of men. 



Sheep and 

CHAP. I. 'A'lie care tliey take of their animals suggests the possibility 

Fauna, of improving the breed hj giving them a good Government bull. 

This would need to be of one of the lighter breeds, as the cows 

are all small. 

In 1879 and the following years an experiment was made to 
see how Amrat Mahal cattle would do on the Palnis. A small 
herd of twelve animals was entrusted by Government to Mr. 
Verc Levinge, who liad retired to Kodaikanal from the^Collector- 
ship of Madura, and this was under his charge until his deatli 
in 1885. It was then dispersed. While it was on the hills it 
increased to twenty-six head and — except for one attack of foot 
and mouth disease— flourished well. Mr. Levinge reported that a 
mixed herd of his own, consisting of English, Australian, country- 
bred and Aden cattle, also did well there on no other food than 
tlie natural grass of the hills. 

The sheep of the district are of two varieties ; namely, the 
hairy, long-legged, red kind which is only useful as a manuring 
agent and to be turned into mutton, and the black sort which 
carries a fleece of inferior, wiry, wool. The coarse blankets which 
are woven from this material by the Canarese-.speaking Kurubas 
are referred to on p. 145 below, and the considerable trade which 
is carried on in sheep and goat skins is mentioned on p. 151. 

The goats of Madura are of the usual kind and, as elsewhere, 
their numbers constitute one of the difficult problems in forest 
Game. Madura is a poor place for small game. Snipe are the only 

game-birds which can be said to be plentiful. The best spots 
for these are the tanks round Solavandan which are periodically 
filled with the Periyar water. Their foreshores abound with the 
liorai grass which is the bird's favourite cover. Late in the 
season the Tirupparankunram wet land is also a likely part. 

Duck and teal are most easily obtained on the tanks in Tiru- 
mangalam, which are smaller, as a rule, than those elsewhere. 
The other usual game-birds are met with all over the district, 
but in small numbers. Florican are occasionally seen, round 
Andipatti are some sand-grouse, and on the Upper Palnis are 

Large game is confined to the hill ranges. All the usual south 
Indian species, from elephant and bison downwards, occur. 

Elephants vrere formerly very numerous all over the Palui 
range and the old records are full of accounts of the devastation 
they caused, even as far east as Kannivadi zamindari, and of the 


steps taken to reduce tlieir numbers, Tliey are seldom seen on CHAP. T. 
this range now, even on the upper parts of it. Lieutenant Jervis;, FArx*. 
in his Narrative of a journey to the Falls of the Cauvery, speaks oi 
a natural pass on the hills near Kamham, which those familiar 
with that locality may be able to identify, where these animals 
were regularly caught in pits. The place ended in a narrow 
gorge between two rocks through which only one elephant could 
pass at a time, and ihe herds were driven through this into a net- 
work of pits dug on the other side of it in a hollow between two 
hills. He speaks of 63 elephants being trapped or shot there 
on one occasion in four hours. Mr. Robert Fischer of Madura 
possesses a pair' of elephant tusks, obtained in the d^Atrict, of 
which the larger is 72 inches long, 18| inches in greatest cjirth 
and weighs 72^ lb. and the smaller measures GO iuches ii 
length, 18^ inches in girth and weighs 06 lb. 

Bison are fairly plentiful, and two small herds of poor 
specimens still roam the Alagarmalais, These animals used 
to be numerous on the Sirumalais, but (with every other sort of 
large game) they have long since disappeared from there. The 
Nilgiri ibex {Hemitrayus I/ylocrius) is also found in one or two 
spots on the Upper Palnis. The other game animals present 
no peculiarities. 

'Hie monkeys of the district are numerous and impudent. 
They used to be such a nuisance in Madura town that people had 
to cover the roofs of their houses with thorns ; and at length they 
were all caught and deported. An almost worse pest which has 
taken their place is the notorious Madura mosquito — a venomous 
and vindictive breed. 




Prehistoric Pbotles — Palieolithic man — Kistvaens, etc. Earlt Histort — The 
Pandya dynasty — Its anticjuity — Appears in early Tamil literature — Its first 
mention in inscriptions — Its struggles with the Pallavas, 7th century- 
Decline of the latter — The Ganga-Pallavas, 9th century — Pandya as- 
cendancy — The Chola revival. 10th to 12tb centuries— Pandya rebellions — 
Pdndya renaissance, 12th century — Struggle for the throne— Decline of the 
Cholas, 13th century — Pandya rule thenceforth— Maravarman Sundura. 
Pandya I, 1216-35 — Arrival of the Hoysalas — Jatavarman Sundara-Pandya 
I, 1251-(il — End of the Hoysala and Clidla power — Maravarman Kulas6khara 
I (1268-1308) and his successor — Splendour of the Pandya realm. Musai,- 
MAN Invasion, 1310— Musalman dynasty at Madura. Vi.jayanagar Dominion, 
1365— Its effects — King Achyuta's campaign, 1532. XXvakkan DyNA.sTY, 
1559-1736 — Its origin — Visvauatha Nayakkan, 1559-63 — His immediate 
successors — Fall of Vijayanagar kingdom, 1565 — Tirumala Nayakkan, 1623- 
59 — He defies Vijayanagar — Calls the Muhammadans to his aid — And 
becomes their feudatory — His wars with Mysore — His death — Eebellions 
among his vassals — -A curious rumour — Tirnmala's capital — His public build- 
ings— Muttu Alakadri, 1659-62— Chokkanatha (1662--82)— His troubles with 
his neighbours — His conquest and loss of Taaj<n-e — Attacked by Mysore and 
the Marathas — The latter seize his country— Ranga Krishna Muttu Yirappa 
(1682-89)— Matters improve— Mangammal (1689-1704)— Her charities— Her 
wars — Her tragic death — Yijaya Ranga Chokkanatha (170-J-3])— His feeble 
rnle — Minakshi (1731-36) — Musalman interference — End of Kayakkan 
dynasty — Character of its rule. Musalman Dominion- Chanda Sahib (1730- 
40) — A Maratha interlude (1740-i3) — Musalman authority re-established, 
1743 — The rival Musalman parties. English Period— Siege of Madura, 
1751 — Col. Hei'on's expedition, 1755 — Mahfui Khan rents the country — 
Muhammad Yusuf sent to quiet it — Mahfuz Khan rebels — Capt. Calliaud's 
attacks on Madm-a, 1757 — Anarchy again prevails — Yusuf Khan again 
despatched — He rebels and is hanged, 1764 — His character — Haidar Ali's 
invasion, 1780 — Assignment of the revenue to the Company, 1781 — Col. 
FuUarton's expedition, 1783 — Assignment of the revenue cancelled, 1785 — 
Assumption of the revenue, 1790 — The Company collects the peshkash, 
1792 — Story of the Dindigul country — Its cession in 1792 — Cession of the 
rest of Madura, 1801. 

CHAP. II. Of palseolithic or neolithic man, practically no traces have as yet 
Prehistoeic "been found in the Madura district. Mr. Bruce Foote says ^ that 


" associated with the shingle which is mixed with the ferruginous 

Palaeolithic gravel to the north of the tank of Tallakulam village (opposite 
Madura town, across the Vaigai river) occur occasional flakes of 
different coloured cherts of foreign origin, some of which seem 

* Memoirs, Geol. Surv. India, xx, pt. 1, 4.9 and Records, xii, pfc. 3, 154. 


certainly to liave been trimmed for use as scrapers or knives. He CHAP. II. 
thinks further search would probably reveal unquestionably PR«niaTOBic 

recognizable specimens of chipped stone instruments, but as yet * 

none seem to have been discovered. 

Of the existence of those prehistoric peoples who buried their Kistvaena, 
dead in stone kistvaens and dolmens there is, however, abundant 
evidence. Instances of these erections are reported from places 
as widely separated as Kaittiyankottai and its next neiglibour 
Kalvarpatti in the north of the Dindigul taluk ; Eagalapuram 
and Yiralippatti, not far from one another to tlie south-east of 
Dindigul town ; Mullipallam in Nilakkottai taluk ; Karungalakudi 
inMelur; Kalayamuttur, Chinnakalayamutttir (those at the two 
latter places are regularly worshipped by the villagers ! ) and 
Palni in Palni taluk ; and Kambam and Margaiyankottai in 
Periyakulam. Pyriform earthen tombs have also been found near 
Kulasekharankottai in Nilakkottai taluk, Paravaiand Anuppanadi 
in Madura, and Senkulam in Tirumangalam. Some of these 
many remains are referred to again in Chapter XV below, and in 
the same place (pp. 247-8) are mentioned the most striking of all 
the prehistoric antiquities of the district, the kistvaens and dolmens 
of the Palni Hills. 

When times which may be styled historical are first reached, Easlt 
the greater part of the Madura country is found to be in the i^'^ioRv.^ 
possession of the Pandya dynasty, and the early chronicles of the 
district are to a large extent the history of that line. 

These Piindyas were the rulers of one of three great kingdoms The Pandj-a 
which in the earliest times held sway over the land of the Tamils. <iy°a,3ty. 
Tradition, inscriptions and ancient literature all agree in beginning 
the history of south India witli the story of tlie three dynasties of 
the Cheras, the Cholas and the Pandyas, whose eponymous ances- 
tors are fabled to have been three brothers who resided together 
at Korkai, near the mouth of the Tambraparni river in the 
Tinnevelly countr) \ They are said to have eventually separated, 
Pandyan remaining at home, while Cheran and Claolan went forth 
to seek their fortunes and founded kingdoms in the north and the 
west respectively. TVadition, which is supported by such history 
as exists, states that the Cholas ruled in the country which now 
forms tlie Tanjore and Trichinopoly districts, the Cheras in 
Travancore, Malabar and Coimbatore, and the Pandyas in Madura 
and Tinnevelly. 

^ For assistance with tliis section of khis Chapter I am very greatly indebted to 
Rai Bahadur V. Venkayya, m.a., Government Epigraphist. Mr. F. R. Hemingfway, 
Assistant Superintendent of Gaietteer RoviKion, compiled most of the original 
draf t np to tke end of the Nayakkan dynasty. 



OHAP. II. Tlie Pandya kiDgdom can "boast a respectable antiquity and 

Eaely is referred to by the classical writers of Greece and Rome.^ 

History. Megasthenes (who was sent as ambassador by Seleucus Nicator, 

Its antiquitj. one of Alexander the Great's successors, to the court of Chandra 
Gupta, king of Pataliputra near Patna, about 302 B.C.) speaks 
of a country called Pandaia after the name of the only daughter 
of ' the Indian Hercules,' or Krishna. To this only daughter 
Pandaia, says Megasthenes, Krishna ' assigned that portion of 
India which lies to the southward and extends to the sea.' Pliny 
(A.D. 77) mentions the Pandae, king Pandion, and the hitter's 
' mediterranean emporium of Modoura.' That the Pandyas at 
this period occupied no mean political position is to be inferred 
from Dr. Caldwell's belief that it was they who sent to the Eoman 
emperor Augustus the Indian embassy mentioned by Strabo (A.U. 
20). Ptolemy (A.D. 140) mentions ' Modoura the kingdom of the 
Pandion.' So many Roman coins have been found in and around 
Madura that it has been suggested ^ that a Eoman colony must 
once have existed there. 

An interesting reference to the Pandyas is also found in an 
inscription of Asoka,^ the emperor and militant evangelist of 
the great Buddhist Mauryan empire of the north, who came to 
the throne in 269 B.C. and prosecuted extensive conquests in 
central India. This contains the boast that ' the conquest 
through the sacred law extended in the south where the Chodas 
(Cholas) and the Panidas (Pandyas) dwell, as far as Tamba- 
panini' (the Tambraparni). This 'conquest' was clearly not 
a subjugation by force of arms, and the phrase probably means 
little more than that the Pandyas and Cholas permitted tlie 
preaching of the Buddhist religion. Indeed, imtil the fourteenth 
century of the present era the Pdndyas, the Cheras, and perhaps 
the Cholas seem to have remained unmolested by the armies of 
the great empires of the north which from time to time overran 
the neighbouring country, and their political horizon seems to 
have been largely limited by their wars among themselves, and 
their conflicts with neighbouring- savage or jungle ^tribes and 
with the Singhalese. 

Appears in Early Tamil literature contains many references to the Pandya 

early Tamil dynasty and country. The late Mr. V. Kanakasabhai Pillai in 
literatnre. j j 

^ See Bishop Caldwell's History of Tinnevelly (Madras, 1881), 15, 16. 

^ Sewell's Lists of Antiquities, i, 291 and Tufnell's Hints to Coirt'CgUectois 
(Madras Government Press, 1889), 27-9. A solidus of Zeno was found in 1839 in 
the Tirnmangalam taluk (M.J.L.S., xiii, 215) and 63 gold coins of Augustus and 
other emperors in a small pot in Kalayamuttiir (Palni taluk) in 185G (M.J.L.S.. 
xvii, 114)* 

' Episraphia Indien, ii, 4-71 aad Indian Antiquary ^ xx, 240 ff. 



his recent work The Tamils eighteen hundred years ago ^ gives a 
series of extracts from such poems as the Purandnnru, Pathipditu , 
Silappadigdrani and Manimcyalai which not only present a unique 
and remarkably interesting- picture of the state of art, agriculture, 
commerce, society and politics during the period when they were 
written, which Mr. Kanakasabhai places in the first and second 
centuries of the present era, but also contain a number of 
historical facts. The value of these latter is discounted by the 
uncertainty which must be considered to exist as to the dates of 
the poems", and consequently of the events with which they 
deal, but Mr. Kanakasabhai Pillai has deduced from them the 
following sequence of five Pandya kings, to whom he assigns the 
dates affixed below to each : — (1) Nedun-che%an I (A.D. 50-75), 
(2) Verri-ver-cheliyan (75-90), (3) Nedun-cheliyan 11 (90-128), 
(4) Ugra-peru-valuti (128-140) and (5) Nan-maran (140-150). 

Of the first of these rulers the poems relate that he bore a title 
which may be taken to imply that he defeated an Aryan army 
and say that he died suddenly, wliile sitting on his throne, in the 
fojiOuing dramatic circumstances : He had ordered his guards, 
r.ays the tale, to behead a man on suspicion that he had stolen 
one of the queen's anklets. The man's wife appeared before him, 
proved her husband's innocence, and taunted the king- with his 
hastiness. In her country, the land of the Cholas, she exclaimed, 
the kings were of different stuff : one had saved a dove 's life by 
offering his own liesh to an eagle which pursued the bird, and 
another had executed his own son for driving his chariot over a 
calf. Stung with shame at the woman's taunts and filled with 
remorse for his injustice, the king fell fainting from his throne 
and expired shortly afterwards. 

Tlie second of the five kings ruled only a short time and was 
followed by his son. This latter, Nedun-cheliyan II, was a 
soldier of much prowess. He repelled a Chola invasion of his 
kingdom and afterwards carried the war into the enemy's country 
and annexed one of their provinces. He was then confronted by 
a confederacy of the Cholas, the Cheras and five minor chieftains, 
but defeated them in a great battle which raged all day and in 
which the flower of all the troops of the Tamil country were 

The fourth king, Ugra-pefu-valuti, was the monarcli at whose 
court the Kural, the famous sacred poem of Tiruvalluvar, was 
published in the presence of a brilliant assembly of 48 poets ; and 

1 Higginbotliam & Co., Madras, 1904. 

^ For the discussion on this point and Dr. Ilultisch's opinion regarding it see 
South Indian Inscriptioits, ii, pt. 3, 378. 





CHAP, ri . the well-known Tamil poetess Auvaiyar composed stanzas in Ms 
Early honour. The poems say that he was friendly with the Chera and 
Chola kings, having been present at a sacrifice performed by one 
of the latter, and that lie took a great fortress believed to be 
impregnable and called Kanapper, ' whose high walls seem to 
reach the sky, whose battlements gleam like the stars, the ditch 
surrounding which is deep and unfathomable as the sea, and the 
jungle beyond it so dense that the sun's rays never penetrate it.* 
According to these ancient poems, the capital of the Pandyas 
was Nan-madak-kudal, ' the cluster of four towers,' which is the 
modern Madura. It was called ' the Northern Madura ' to dis- 
tinguish it from a previous capital of the same name, in the 
extreme south of the Peninsula, which had been submerged, by 
the sea.^ Another chief town which had shared the same fate was 
also on the coast and was called Kapadapuram. Even modern 
Madura was not always in exactly its present position. The 
original city seems to have been about six miles to the south-east. 
No vestige of it remains, but the tradition of its existence is 
strong and the poet Nakkiran speaks of it as being east of Tirup- 
parankunram. It possessed four gates surmounted by high 
towers, outside its massive stone walls was a deep moat, and 
surrounding this was a thick jungle of thorny trees. Two of 
the ' Ten Tamil Idylls ' (the Nedunal-vadai by Nakkiran and the 
Madurai-kanji of Mamkudi jMarutanar, abstracts of which are 
given in the CIn-istian College Magazine, viii, 661 ff.) give most 
vivid descriptions of the city and its inhabitants in these early 
days. Korkai in Tinnevelly, which was well known to the 
writer of the Periphis Marts 'Erythrcei (about A.D. 80j and to 
Ptolemy, was another important town, and the Pandya king is 
often referred to in ancient Tamil literature (as well as in inscrip- 
tions) as Korkaiyali, or ' the Lord of Korkai.' 

The Pandya royal emblem was a fish (that of the Cheras 
was a bow and of the Ch61as a tiger) and it appears on their coins. ^ 

^ Qleanings fro<n ancient Tamil literature, by the Hon. V, Coomaraswami of 

* Captain Tufnell, in his Hints to Coin'col lectors in South India, points out 
that Madura is a most prolific centre for ancient coins and especially for those 
of the rand3'a8 and Ch61as. The best local collections have been those of the 
late Mr. T. M. Scott, barrister at Madura (the pick of which was presented by him 
to the Madras Museum) and of the Rev. J. E. Tracy of the American Mission. 
Papers by the latter gentleman on Pandya and S^tupati coins will be found in 
M.J.L.S. for 1887-88 and 1889-90 respectively, and coins in his possession have 
thrown much light on the chronology of the Mnsalman rulers of ' Ma'bar ' (the 
country facing Ceylou, of which Madura was the capital) between Hijra 737 and 
779, who are otherwise only known to us from the narrative of Ibn Batdta (see 
J.A.B.B., Ixiv, pt. 1, No. 1, 1895). 


Their warriors wore garlands of margosa when they went to CHAP. If. 
battle, in contradistinction to the chaplets of ' ar ' of the Cholas Early 
and the palmyra leaves of the Cheras. H istor y. 

Tlic prevailing religion in early times in their kingdom was 
the Jain creed. The PeriyaPurdyiam, a Tamil work dealing with 
the lives of the 63 devotees of Siva the veracity of which has been 
established in several instances, says that the Pandya king 
Nedumaran was converted to Saivism from the Jain faith by the 
famous Saiva saint Tirugnana Sambandhar, who cured him 
of a fever upon wliich none of his own priests could make any 

Thus far does Tamil literature enligliten the darkness of the Its first 
early days of the Pandyas. A wide unbridged gap follows, and ,™*'°*^'°^ '° 
it is not until the end of the sixth century of tlie present era that 
any continuous history of the line can be said to begin. Inscrip- 
tions then take up the tale. 

About that time the dynasty of the Pallavas (whose capital Its struggles 
was at Kanchi, the modern Conieeveram) tried to extend their i^^!, ^^^ 
conquests southwards and fell foul of tlie Pandyas. Two of their seventh 
kings, Simhavishnu and his grandson Narasimhavarman I, boast <^'"^°^J' 
in their inscriptions that they conquered the Pandya kingdom. 

Almost at once, however, pressure fi'om this quarter was Decline of 
relieved by the sudden appearance of a new line of rulers wlio gave ^^^ latter, 
the Pallavas sufficient employment in the north to divert their 
attention from their southern neighbours . These wore the Cha- 
lukyas of Badami, in the Bombay Presidency. By 615 A.D. 
they had driven the Pallavas back to the walls of Conjeeveram, 
and they even assert that they conquered the Cholas,' crossed the 
Cauvery, and invaded the country of the Pandyas and Cheras.^ 
The latter boast is probably an empty one, since there are no 
traces of Chalukyan conquest in the Chola or Pandya country at 
this period ; but a claim which is much more likely to liave a 
foundation in fact, and which is of greater interest for our present 
purposes, is the statement of the Chalukyan king Pulakesin II 
(A.D. GlO-34) that ho induced the Pandyas, Cholas and Cheras 
to combine and overcome the Pallavas.^ He had nothing to gain 
by recording false statements about the success of this combina- 
tion, as it was due to no merit of his own. 

For the next liundred years nothing certain is known of 
the doings of the Pandyas, but they apparently retained their 

^ Sewell's Lists of Antiquities, ii, 155. 

* Bombay Gazetteer (Bombay, 189G), i, pt. 2, 188. 

» Ind. Ant., riii, 245. 





The Ganga- 




revival, tenth 
to twelfth 

independence. About 750 A.D. they again came into conflict 
witli the Pallavas,for an inscription of Nandivarnian Pallavamalla, 
wlio was probably about the last of the latter dynasty who held 
any real power, states that his general, Udayachandra, gained a 
victory over the Pandyas at ' Mannaiklcudi.' ^ But as tliis place 
has not been identified it is not possible to say whicli of the two 
combatants was the aggressor. 

Shortly after this the power of the Pallavas declined, and 
their place was taken, though perhaps not immediately, by the 
Granga-Pallavas. These latter seem, like their predecessors, to 
have had their capital at Conjeeveram ; and towards the end of the 
ninth century they extended their rule for a few years into the 
north of the Chola country." 

They do not, as far as is yet known, make any claims to 
victories over the Pandyas ; and apparently these latter were not 
only independent, but powerful enough to control the Chola 
country as well as their own for a considerable part of the ninth 
century. For there are inscriptions near Taujore,^ in the heart 
of the Chola realms, assignable to that century on paleeographic 
grounds, which relate the acts of Piindya kings ; a record in 
North Arcot mentions a victory of the Pandyas over the Gangas 
(a Mysore dynasty who seem at this time to have been feuda- 
tories of the Ganga-Pallavas) which occurred about the middle 
of the same century in the very north of the Chola country, 
at Tiruppirambiyam near Kumbakonam ; * and the Mahavamsa, 
the Ceylon chronicle, says that the Pandyas made an entirely 
unprovoked invasion of Ceylon in the time of king Sena I, who 
reigned from 846 to 866. 

Towards the latter part of this ninth century, however, the 
Pandyas must haA^e been forced to retire from at any rate the 
north of the Chola dominions before the advance of the Granga- 
Pallavas ; and by the end of it the Cholas, who had been under a 
temporary eclipse, again rose to power and began to lay the 
foundations of an empire which continued supreme in south India, 
with slight interruptions, for nearly three centuries. 

It would seem to have been m the reign of the Chola king 
Parautaka I (about 906-46) that the Pandyas for the first time 
fell definitely under the Chola yokc.^ That monarch assumed 

1 S. Ind. Inscr., ii, 364. 

* Government Epigraphist's Annual Report for 1903-Oi, para. 12. 

' Nos. 51 and 10 of the Government Epigraphist's collections for 1895 and 
1899 respectively. 

* S. Ind., Inscr. ii, 381. 

^ Ep. Ind., V, i2 and S. Ind. Inscr., ii, 379. 





the title of ' conqueror of Madura/ his inscriptions range from CHAP. II. 
Suchindrain near Cape Comorin to Kdlaliasti in Nortli Arcot, and 
he also invaded Cejlon. 

A chance of a bid for freedom was afforded the Pandyas 
in 949 hj the crushing defeat of the Cholas in tliat year near 
Arkonam Ly the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed ^in what is now the 
Nizam's Dominions) who now occupied the country formerly held 
i3y the Chalukyas of Badami. The Pandyas seem to have rebelled 
successfully, and their ruler Vira-Pandya defeated the Chola king 
Aditya Karikala and assumed the title of ' he who took the head 
of the Chola.' But later they again succumbed, for the Chola 
king Rajaraja I (985-1013) claims to have 'taken away their 
splendour,' and the substantial foundation which existed for his 
boast and the complete subjection of the Pandya country are 
evidenced by the immense number of Chola inscriptions which 
occur in the Madura and Tinnevelly districts, by the very 
large number of copper coins of Eajaraja which are even now 
found in the former of these/ and by the fact that the name of 
the old Pandya capital of Korkai was changed to the Chola term 
Cholendrasimha-chaturvedimangalam and that of the Pdndya 
country itself to Eajaraja-Pandi-nadu.- The Pandya realms 
became, in fact, a province of the Chola empire. 

The position of this empire at this period is a matter which 
belongs rather to the history of Tanjore and Trichinopoly ^ than 
to that of Madura, and it is not necessary to refer to it here in 
any detail. Edjaraja extended his rule throughout the Madras 
Presidency and in some directions even beyond it : on the west his 
sway reached as far as Quilon and Coorg ; on the north-east 
to the borders of Orissa ; and his conquests included Ceylon and 
the ' twelve thousand ancient islands of the sea.' Parts of 
Burma and the Malay Archipelago were added to these domini- 
ons by his immediate successors. Their conquests were least 
secure in the north-west, and their most formidable rivals at this 
period were the Western Chalukyas, a branch of the Chalukyas 
of Badami above referred to, who had ousted the Eash- 
trak{itas of Malkhed and returned to power with their capital at 
Kalyani, in what is now Haidarabad territory. 

At first, in the reigns of Rajaraja (985-1013) and his succes- pandya 
sor Rcijendra Chola I (1011-33), the Pdndyas appear to have lebcllions 
borne the Chola yoke quietly enough. 

' Capt. Tufnell's Hi ids to Goin-eollectors, 11. 

* Government Ei^igriiphist'e Annual Report for 1D03-0-4, para. 20. 

^ See Chapter 11 in the Gateiteers of these districts. 




CHAP. II. During the rule of E^j^dliir^ja I (1018-53), however, 

^Early trouble began, the Pandyas, the Cheras and the Singhalese 
uniting to throw off the Ch61a yoke. The revolt was sternly 
suppressed. The Singhalese king was killed in battle, the Chora 
ruler captured and put to death, and the Pandya chief driven to 
headlong iSight. The victor's inscription commemorating his 
triumph' says that— 

' Of the three allied kings of the south he cut off on the battle-fiel4 
the beautiful head of I^Ianabharauan adorned witli great gems and 
a golden crown; captured in fight Yira-Keralan of the wide ankle- 
rings, and was pleased to have him trampled to death by his furious 
elephant Attivarana ; and drove to the ancient river Mullaiyar ^ Sundara 
Pandya of great and undying fame, who lost in the stress of battle his 
royal white parasol, his fly-whisks of white yak's hair and his throne, 
and fled, leaving his crown behind him, with dishevelled locks and 
weary feet.' 

The records of the next Chola king, E^jendra-Deva (1052- 
63), do not refer to any trouble with the Pandyas, but his 
successor, Vira-Eajendra I (1062-70) had to put down a fresh 
rebelKon of theirs. He captured the Pandya chief and caused 
him to be ' trampled to death by a furious 77iast elephant,^' and 
he gave the Pandya country to his son Gangai-konda-Chola, 
who took the title of Ch61a-Pandya.* 

The death of this Yira-Eajendra was followed by a fierce 
domestic contest for the Chola crowu,* and it was not apparently 
till about 1074 that the next king, the great Kulottunga I, who 
reigned till 1119, succeeded in establishing himself firmly on the 
throne. His hands must have been too full during these four 
years to allow him to keep a proper hold upon the outlying por- 
tions of his empire, and a great part of them fell into disorder. 
Ceylon appears to have cut itself adrift and the Pandyas and the 
Cheras again united in rebellion. They were again suppressed. 
An inscription of the fourteenth^year of Kulottunga records that 
he put the ' five Pandyas' to flight and subdued the Gulf of 
Manaar, ' the Podiyil mountain ' (Agastyamalai in Tinnevelly), 
Cape Comorin and Kottaru (now in Travancore), the last of 
which places he took by storm. He limited the boundaries of 
the Pandya country and placed garrisons at Kottaru and other 
strategically important places within it.^ 

1 S. Ind. Inser., iii, 56. 
' Not identified, 
s S. Ind. Inner., iii, 37. 

* There is, however, evidence to show that the title is earlier than this, 
and its origin is not wholly clear. 

» See Chapter II of the Tanjore and Trichinopoly'Gazeifeers. 

« See the Government Epigraphist's Annual Report for 1900-01, p. 9. 


Kings of tlie Cli61a-I*andya line above mentioned seem to CHAP. 11. 
have gone on ruling the Pandya country till someVhere about Early 

1136, but the history of both the Cholas and the Pandyas in the 

next 35 years is at present obscure. During that period the Pandya 
dominions of the former seem to have been considerably cur- t^^ift^^ ' 
tailed, but it is not possible to say exactly what was their posi- century, 
tion iu the Pandya country. When at length (in the reign of 
the Chola king Rajadhiraja II, about 1171-72) inscriptions again 
begin to throw light upon the relations of the two peoples, a 
struggle for the Pandya throne is found to be proceeding 
between two Pandya princes who seem to have nothing to do 
with the Chola-Pandya line, and the kings of the Ch61as and of 
Ceylon are taking' opposite sides in the quarrel, What had 
happened in the meantime to the Chola-Pandya dynasty it is 
impossible to say. 

The two rival claimants to the Pandya crown were Par^k- Struggle for 
rama-Pandya and Kulasekhara-Pandya. How they were tlie t^^^'o^ie- 
related, or how the strife arose, is not clear. Chapters 76 and 77 
of the Singhalese chronicle Mahavamsa give, however, a fairly 
detailed, though doubtless one-sided, account of the campaign.^ 

Parakrama was besieged by Kulasekhara in his capital 
(Madura) and appealed for help to the king of Ceylon. The 
latter despatched his general Lankapura-Dandandtha with orders 
to suppress Kulasekhara and establish Parakrama on the throne ; 
but before the Singhalese ai-my could embark, Kulasekhara had 
captured Madura and put his rival, with his queen and some of 
his children, to death. Lankapura was ordered by his master 
to proceed noue the less, to recover the Pandya reabns, and to 
hand them over to some relative of the murdered king. Ho 
landed in India accordingly, and for some time his troops carried 
everything before them. He sent for Yira-Pandya, the youngest 
son of the dead Parakrama (who had escaped when Madura fell), 
and set him up as claimant for the throne. Subsequently, with 
the aid of reinforcements from Ceylon, he inflicted such crush- 
ing defeats upon Kulasekhara that the latter fled to ' Tondamana,' 
which is perhaps the Padukkottai country, and the Singhalese 
troops occupied Madura town. 

It was at this stage that the Cholas seem to have first given 
Kulasekhara their support. With their help a stand was made 
at ' Pon-Amaravati,' a place not yet identified, but the Singhalese 

^ Government Epigraphiat's Report for 1898-99, paras. 23 ff. 






Deoline of 
the Chdlas, 

Pandya rule 

•were onco more victorious and a space of three leagues was 
covered with the corpses of the vanquished. Lankdpura returned 
in triumph to Madura, placed Vira-Pandya on the throne and 
celebrated the event with a great festival. 

Supported by the ruler of Tondamana and certain other 
Chola chiefs, Kulasekhara again took the field, but was again 
defeated, this time at Palamcottah, and fled for refuge to the 
Ch61a country. The Chola king then assisted him with a large 
army, but he was yet again vanquished, and the Ceylon troops 
advanced northwards and even burnt some villages in the 
Tanjore country. After one more victory over the Pandya and 
Chola troops the Singhalese returned to Ceylon, leaving Yira- 
Pandya in possession of his kingdom. 

The war did not end there, however. Inscriptions of the 
Chola king Kul6ttunga III show that that ruler subsequently sup- 
ported Kulasekhara's successor Vikrama-Pandya in an effort 
against Vira-Pandya and his son, defeated the Marava army, drove 
the Simhala (Singhalese) forces into the sea, captured Madura, 
made over the Pandya crown to his protege Vikrama, and 
assumed the title of 'conqueror of Madura and Ceylon.^ 

These stirring events occurred somewhere about the end of the 
twelfth century. Early in the thirteenth, the power of the Cholas 
began to decline. It was during the reign of Kajaraja III of that 
dynasty (1216 to about 1239) that the first fatal blows were 
received. This king's feudatories revolted on all sides, and one of 
them, K6pperunjinga, a prince of some power in Tondaimanda- 
1am, the present South Arcot, actually had the impudence to 
kidnap his suzerain (1230-31) and refuse to release him.^ The 
unfortunate Rajaraja was only rescued by the intervention of the 
Hoysala Ballalas, a newly-risen dynasty which had recently sub- 
verted the Western Ch^lukyas of 'Kstlyini and established their 
capital at Halebid in Mysore. 

The Chola demoralisation was the Pandyas' opportunity, and 
they were not slow to avail themselves of it. Prom this time 
forth they occupied the throne of Madura in a regular succession, 
and from astronomical details appearing in inscriptions and 
supplied by the Government Epigraphist, Professor Kielhorn has 
fixed the dates of the following of their rulers — the latter year 
in each case being, not necessarily the last of the king's reign, 

^ For details of this exploit, see South Arcot Gazetteer, 33. 



Pand^-a I, 

but the latest date as yet discovered which contains details CHAP, il. 
admitting- of verification : — Earlt 


1. Jatavarman Kulas^khara, 1190-1214. 

2. Maravarmau Sundara-Pandya I, 1216-35. 

3. Maravarman Sundara-Pandya II, 1238-51. 

4. Jatavarman Sundara-Pandya I, 1251-61. 

5. Yira-Pandya, 1252-67. 

6. Mdravarman Kulasekhara I, 1208-1308. 

7. Jatavarman Sundara-Pandya II, 1275-90. 

8. Maravarman Kulasekhara II, 1314-21. 

9. Mdravarman Parakrama-Pandya, 1334-52. 

10. Jatavarman Parakrama-Pandya, 1357-72. 

11. Jatilavarmau Parakrama-Pandya Arikesarideva, 1422- 


12. Jatilavarman Parakrama-Pandya Kulasekhara, 1479-99. 

13. Jatilavarman Srivallabha, 1534-37. 

14. Maravarman Sundara-P<4ndya III, 1531-55. 

15. Jatilavarman Srivakabha Ativirarama, 1562-67. 

The second of these rulers, Maravarman Sundara-Pandya I, Maravarman 
who came to the throne in 1216, invaded the country of the old 
enemies of his line and captured Tanjore and Uraiyur, a suburb 
of Trichinopoly and a former Chola capital. He boasts that 
he made himself master of the Chola realms and in the end 
graciously returned them as a gift to their owner; ^ and that 
this was not altogether mere bombast is shown by the frequency 
of his inscriptions in the Tanjore and Trichinopoly districts ^ 
and by the fact that his coins bear the title ' ho who conquered 
the Chola country/ 

But the collapse of the Cholas brought the Pandyas into toucli 
with the Hoysalas, who about this time established themselves 
near Srirangam in the Trichinopoly district in a new town which 
the Hoysala king ' had built in order to amuse his mind in the 
Chola country, which he had conquered by the power of his arm.' 
As early as 1222 these Hoysalas were stated to be ' marcliing 
against Eanga (t.e., Srirangam) in the south,' and to have ' cleft 
open the rock that was the Ptindya,' and their king assumed the 
title of ' the establisher of the Chola kingdom.' Whether he 
actually came into conflict with the I'andyas it is impossible to 
say ; but the latter seem to have left the Chola country, and do 
not appear to have again interfered with it for some thirty years. 

^ Government Epigrnphist'e Annual Report for 1899-1900, para. 12. 
« Ef. Ind., vi, 303 ff. 

Arrival ol tlio 





Pandya I, 

End of the 
Hoysala and 
Chdla power. 

I (1268-1308) 
and his sue- 

Of the third of the Pandya kings in the above list, Maravar- 
man Sundara-Pandya II (1238-51), very little is known; but 
his successor, Jatdvarman Sundara-Pdndya I (1251-61), was a 
mighty conqueror. He invaded Ceylon, carried off a great booty, 
including the celebrated tooth-relic, and assumed in consequence 
the titleof ' a second Earaa in plundering the island of Lanka ; ^ ' 
he covered the Srirangam temple with gold ; came into conBict 
with the rapidly growing power of the Kakatiya kings of Waran- 
gal in Haidarabad ; extended his conquests as far as Nellore, 
where he had himself 'anointed as a hero;' and defeated the 
Hoysala king Somesvara. 

The Hoysalas bad also been previously worsted about this 
time by the Cholas under Eajendra-Ohola III (1246 to about 
1267), who assumed the title of 'the hostile rod of death to 
his uncle Somesvara,' but they appear at Srirangam again in 
1256, and their inscriptions and those of the Pandyas overlap and 
alternate in the Trichinopoly district in a puzzling manner until 
the end of the thirteenth century. The inference is that they 
were not permanently weakened by the blows dealt them by the 
Cholas and the Pandyas, but continued for some years as the 
effective rivals of the latter in that part of the country. 

Nor, apparently, were the Ch61a3 at once reduced to an 
absolutely subordinate position. Though the Pandyas had pene- 
trated into their territory as far as Nellore before 1261, Eaj^ndra- 
Chola III seems to have retained some form of independence till 
as late as 1267. It was the last flicker of their dying power. 
After 1267 they seem to have dropped out of the race ; and that 
part of their country which was not held by the Hoysalas was 
occupied by the Pandyas. 

The sixth and seventh of the Pandya rulers in the list above, 
Maravarman Kulasekhara I and Jatavarman Sundara-Pandya II, 
were kings of considerable power and are both known to history — 
the former as the ' Kales Dewar ' of Muhammadan historians and 
the latter as the ' Sender Bandi ' of Marco Polo. 

As will be seen from the overlapping of the dates of the reigns 
of these and others of the kings in the list, the chief power in the 
Pandya realms was apparently often held jointly by several 
members of the ruling family. The Mahavamsa says that the 
expedition against Ceylon above mentioned was sent by ' the five 
brethren who governed the Pandya kingdom^ and Marco Polo 
also alludes to the ' five brothers.' More than one reference, 

The Mahavamsa, however, putB this invasion at a later date. 


however, shows that one member of ithe five was always held CHAP. II. 
superior to the others. Early 

Marco Polo, and the Muharamadan, Chinese and Singhalese 

chronicles, and also the other authorities on the state of the Splendour of 
Pandya realm at the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of realm. ° ^^ 
the fourteenth centuries ^ all agree in extolling its wealth and mag- 
nificence. It stretched along the coast from Quilon to Nellore ; 
it was called (according to Marco Polo) ' the greater India ;' was 
the best of all the Indies and indeed ' the finest and noblest 
province in the world;' its rulers sent an embassy, which is 
described in the Chinese annals, to the Mongol emperor Kublai 
Khan in 1286 ; were on terms of friendliness with the Muhamma- 
dans who now begin to interfere in the affairs of southern India ; 
and employed Muhammadan ministers — who, by the way, rose to 
great influence and wealth. Their chief city was stiU Madura, 
but Marco Polo describes with admiration, as a place of great 
commercial importance, the town of Old Kayal, about a mile and 
a half from the mouth of the Tambraparni and in the present 
Tinnevelly district. This seems to have been the centre of a (for 
those days) very largo sea-borne trade which the Pandya kings 
actively encouraged and which made them widely known. Marco 
Polo says that all the ships fromjthe west touched at Kayal, and 
the contemporary Persian historian Wassaf states in a flowery 
passage that all the products of India and China were constantly 
arriving there, and that all the splendour of the west was derived 
from the Pandya realm ' which is so situated as to be the key 
of Hind.' 

Early in the fourteenth century a dispute arose about the Musalman 
succession to the Pandya throne and one of the claimants ^'^Toio'^' 
appealed for help to the emperor Alla-ud-din of Delhi. Perhaps 
in consequence, followed the great invasion of the south of India 
by Malik Kaf ur, tlie famous general of that monarch, which took 
place in 1310 and caused the most momentous changes in the 
political configuration of central and southern India. Having 
swept away the power of tlie rulers oE the Deccan, Malik Kafur 
marched on triumphantly into the Carnatic, sacked Madura, and 
made his way, it is said, as far as Eamesvaram, where he founded 
a mosque.^ 

Mr. Nelson ^ gives a description, founded on native manu- 
scripts, of the excesses of his troops in Madura to^Ti. Life and 

^ Sec Caldwell's History of Tinnevelly, 32 ff. and _hi8 Grammar of the Dm- 
vidian langriages (London, 1S75), 535 ff. 

* Elpliinstone's Hinfory of India (Londoia, 1857), 2-10. 
^ The Madura country, pt. 3, 81, 





djmasty at 



propcrtj were unsafe, trade and commerce were paralysed, private 
liberty was so much at an end tliat one Hindu dared not even 
converse witli another in the street, public worship was suppressed, 
and the great temple was almost razed to the ground. Its outer 
wall, with its fourteen towers, was pulled down ; the streets and 
buildings which it protected were destroyed ; and nothing was 
left of it but the two shrines of Sundaresvara and Minakshi and 
the buildings which immediately surrounded them. Even these 
apparently owed their escape less to any reverence for them in 
the victor's breasts than to the outbreak of private dissensions 
among these Vandals. 

Malik Kafur returned almost at once to his own country, 
but the Pandyas seem to have been prostrated by the in- 
vasion. Never again, indeed, did they posifsess any considerable 
independent power ; thougli their kings continued to rule in a 
spasmodic fashion, with varying authority and over dominions of 
varying size, for the next two and a half centuries. It is eloquent 
evidence of the completeness of their collapse that a king of 
the Cheras, a nation long sunk out of all importance in Indian 
politics, was able to march right across the peninsula, defeat 
their ruler, have himself crowned at Madura, and make his way in 
1313 to Conjeeveram.^ 

This Chera occupation of the country must, however, have 
been very transitory, for a Musalman dynasty was very shortly 
afterwards established at Madura which existed for about the 
next 48 years and ruled that district (witli Trichinopoly and 
perhaps South Arcot) first as feudatories of the Delhi emperor 
and subsequently as independent monarchs. Mr. Nelson ^ gives a 
traditional list of its kings, eight in number. 

It was overthrown about 1365 ^ by the power of the new 
lEindu kingdom of Vijayanagar,* which had been founded at 
Hampe in the Bellary district in 1335 and for the next two 
centuries stemmed the tide of Muhammadan invasion from the 
north. Kampana Udaiyar, a prince of this line, drove the 
Musalmans out of Madura and set up there a little dynasty of his 
own which was presumably and apparently subordinate to the 
court of Vijayanagar. 

^ Ep. Ind., iv, 146. 
5 Ft. 3, 81. 
3 Ep, Ind., vi, 324. 

* For the history of this power, see A Forgotten Empire {Vijayanagar), bj 
Mr. R. SewoU, late I.C.S., Swan Sonnengohein, 1900. 


Mr. Nelson's autliorities ^ give a vivid description of the CHAP. II. 
instantaneous effect in Madura of this victory : — Vuayanagae 

' Within a few days the temples of Siva and Vishnu had been 

everywhere re-opened ; worship was performed once more with 
extraordinary solemnity and fervour : and that nothing might be 
wanting to restore confidence and energy to all classes of men, the 
Brahman 8 contrived a great miracle significant of the i)leasure of the 
god and of his perpetual regard for his faithful worshippers. Kampana 
was taken on an appointed day to witness the re-opening of the great 
Pagoda, and on his entering and approaching the shrine for the 
purpose of looking upon the face of the god, lo ! and behold ! every- 
thing was in precisely the same condition as when the temple was first 
shut up just forty-eight years previously. The lamp that was lighted 
on that day was still burning ; and the sandal-wood powder, the 
garland of flowers and the ornaments usually placed before the idol on 
the morning of a festival day wore now found to be exactly as it is 
usual to find them on the evening of such a day.' 

The list of the Pandya kings already given shows that not Its effects, 
only during the Musalman occupation, but also throughout the 
rule of Kampana Udaiydr and his successors, and even, see 
below, through the time of the later Nayakkan dynasty and down 
to the overthrow of the Vijayanagar kingdom in 1565, Pandya 
chiefs remained always in authority in Madura. Dr. Caldwell^ 
considers that they probably at first assisted the Vijayanagar 
forces to expel the Musalmans, and that thereafter they continued 
in subordination to the power of Vijayanagar. He says that — 

' Throughout the greater number of the reigns of these Pandya 
kings of the later line (that is, those who nded after the expulsion of 
the Musalmans), the kings of Vijayanagar appear to have exercised 
supreme authorit}', but I think it may be assumed that they did 
not interfere much in the internal atfairs of the country, and that 
they contented themselves with receiving tribute and occasionally 
military help.' 

Kampana Udaiydr's dynasty only lasted (if we are to credit 
the vernacular manuscripts on which Mr. Nelson has based his 
account of theui) down to about 1404, and tliereafter the admin- 
istration of the country — subject, no douljt, to the suzerainty 
of the kings of Vijayanagar — continued for many years in the 
hands of a number of chieftains, of whom tlie greater number 
bore Telugu names and titles (such as Nayakkan) and were 
apparently the nominees of the suzerain.^ 

^ Pt. 3, 82. 

^ History of Ti7ineveUy, 52. 

^ Their names appear in Mr. Nelson's Madura Country, pt, 3, 88 ff. and Mr, 
Sowell's Lists af Antiquities, ii, 223. 










The earliest Vijajanagar inscription (other than those of 
Kampana Udaiy^r) as yet discovered in the Pandya country is one 
of the time of king- Deva Raya II of that line and is dated 1438- 
39. King Krishna Eaya (1509-30), the greatest of the dynasty, 
perhaps exercised a closer control over this part of his posses- 
sions. Little of note appears, however, to have taken place there 
until the second quarter of the sixteenth century. 

About 1532, however, stirring events occurred. The king 
of Travancore became aggressive, overran a large part of the 
Pandya country, and defied the authority of Vijayanagar. To 
reduce him to submission, and also to defend the Pandya king 
from the encroachments of two Telugu chieftains (perhaps local 
governors sent from Vijayanagar who had endeavoured to assume 
independence) Achyuta, king of Vijayanagar from 1530 to 1542, 
organised a great expedition into the extreme south of India. 

If we are to trust his own inscriptions,^ he was eminently 
successful in the campaign. He planted a pillar of victory in the 
Tambraparni river, exacted tribute from the king of Travancore, 
suppressed the two troublesome chieftains and married the 
daughter of the Pandya king. Thenceforth the Pandya country 
was held more firmly and directly by the representatives of the 
Vijayanagar empire. The native chronicles, indeed, continue to 
confuse the authority of these suzerains, their Telugu governors, 
and the Pandya rulers, treating each in turn as though they were 
supreme, but there is evidence ^ to show that between 1547 and 
1558 the Madura country was in fact ruled by one Vitthala Raja, 
who was a prince of the Vijayanagar line and invaded Travancore 
a second time in 1543. 

lln 1559 was founded the famous Nayakkan dynasty of 
Madura, which held the country for nearly two centuries until 
the Musalmans took it in 1736. The origin and early doings of 
this line are recounted neither in inscriptions nor in really reliable 
histories, and for light upon both we are driven to depend 
mainly upon the vernacular manuscripts in the three volumes 
of the Eev. W. Taylor's Catalogue Baisonne of Oriental MSS. 
(Madras, 1857), in the same author's Oriental Hktorical MSS. 
(Madras, 1835) and in the collections of manuscripts by Colonel 
Mackenzie which are now in the Oonnemara Library. These (in 
the judgment of so eminent an authority as Bishop Caldwell) 
are of very doubtful veracity, but happily they are frequently 
illumined by the letters and periodical reports of the priests of 

' See Government EpigrapList'e Annual Eeporfc for 1899-1900, paras. 70 £E. 
* Ibid., para. 78, and Sewell's Lists of Aiitiquitiee, ii, 224. 


the well-known Tesuit Mission at Madura^, which (though CHAP. II. 
unfortunately incomplete) have been collected and published in N^yakkan 
four volumes under the title of La Mission da Madure. Mr. Dynasty. 
Nelson has collated all these authorities with much care in his 
book, aflid the ensuing- narrative follows closely (though, owing to 
the exigencies of space, very briefly) his account of this period. 

It seems, then, that at about the close of Vitthala Raja's Its origin, 
administration the then Ohola ruler invaded the Madura country 
and dispossessed the Pandya king. AVhereupon the latter appealed 
to the court of Vijayanagar and an expedition under a certain 
Nagama Nayakkan was accordingly sent to his aid. Nagama 
easily suppressed the Chola king and possessed himself of Madura, 
but he then suddenly threw off his allegiance and, declining 
to help the Pandya, assumed the position of an independent 
ruler. The Vijayanagar emperor was furious at his defection, 
summoned a council, laid the matter before his most faithful 
officers, and cried out to the assemblage ' Where amongst you all 
is he who will bring me that rebel's head? ' To the astonishment 
of every one present, Nagama's own son, A^isvandtha, volunteered 
to do so, and after some natural hesitation the king despatched 
him with a large force against the rebel. Visvanatha defeated 
his father in a pitched battle, placed him in confinement, and at 
length procured for him the unconditional pardon wliich had 
doubtless been from the first the object of his action. 

He so far obeyed the orders of the Vijayanagar king as 
nominally to place the Pdndya on the throne, but sound policy 
and his own interests alike deterred him from handing over the 
entire government of the country to the old feeble dynasty, and 
he set out to rule on his own account. This was in 1559. Doubt- 
less he held a wide commission as governor from the Vijayanagar 
court, and perhaps there was little difference between tlie powers 
he exercised and those wielded, for example, by Vitthala Raja. 
But the peculiar characteristic of the new regime was that, 
whether by accident or design, it developed first into a governor- 
ship which became hereditary and then into what was practically 
an hereditary monarchy. The Nayakkans never, it is true, 
assumed the insignia or titles of royalty, and were content with 
the position of lieutenants under Vijayanagar even after they had 
ceased to pay tribute to that pov/cr ; but in essentials their sway 
was practically absolute and the Pandyas disappear in effect 
henceforth from history. 

^ See Chapter III, p. 75, b«Iow. 






Visvanatha, tlien, became the first of the Nayakkan dynasty. 

The names and dates of its rulers may be conveniently given in 

tabular form here at once. They were — 

Visvanatha .. .. .. ,. .. 1559 

Kumara Krishnappa .. .. .. ., 1563 

Krishnappa, alias Perij'a Virappa . . . . 1 i c7q 

Visvanatha II . . . . . . . , . . j 

Lingayya alia» Kumara Krishnappa Visvappa 

alias Visvanatha III . . . . . . . . 1595 

Muttu Krishnappa .. .. .i .. 1602 

Muttu Virappa 1609 

Tirumala . .. 1623 

Muttu Alakadri alias Muttu Virappa . . . . 1659 

Chokkanatha flfes Chokkalinga .. .. 1662 

Ranga Krishna Muttu Virappa . . . . 1682 

Mangaramal (Queen-Regent) .. .. 1689 

Vijaya Ranga Chokkanatha .. .. .. J 704 

Mmak^hi (Queen-Regent) .. .. ..1731—36 

Visvanatha is said to have immediately set himself to 
strengthen his capital and improve the administration of his 
dominions. He demolished the Pdndya rampart and ditch 
which at that time surrounded merely the walls of the great 
temple, and erected in their place an extensive double-walled 
fortress defended by 72 bastions ;^ and he led channels from 
the upper waters of the Vaigai — perhaps the Peranai and 
Chittanai ^ dams owe their origin to him— to water the country, 
founding villages in the tracts commanded by them. 

In his administrative improvements he was ably seconded by 
his prime minister Arya Nayakka Mudali ( or, as he is still com- 
monly called, Arya Natha , a man born of peasant Velldla parents 
who had won his way by sheer ability to a high position in the 
Vijayanagar court. This officer is supposed to have been the 
founder of ' the poligar system, ' under which the ATadura country 
was apportioned among 72 chieftains — some of them local men and 
others Telugu leaders of the detachments which had accompanied 
Visvanatha from Vijayanagar — who were each placed in charge of 
one of the 72 bastions of the new Madura fortifications, were 
responsible for the immediate control of their estates, paid a fixed 
tribute to the Nayakkans, and kept up a certain quota of troops 
ready for immediate service. Unless their family traditions are 
uniformly false, these men did much for the country in those 
days, founding villages, building dams, constructing tanks and 

^ See p. 205 and the map attached. 
3 Sm pp. 124, I9,h And 128. 



erecting temples. Many of them bore the title of Nayakkan, CHAP. II. 
and hence the commonaess of ' -nayakkanur ' as a termination to NIyakkan 

the names of places in this district. They also brought with them J 

the gods of the Deccan, and thus we find in Madura many shrines 
to Ahobilam and other deities wlio are rarely worshipped in the 
Tamil country. Their successors, the present zamindars of the 
district, still look upon Arya Natha as a sort of patron saint. 

This man is also credited with having constructed the great 
thousand-pillared mantapam in the Madura temple, and he is 
still kept in mind by the equestrian statue of him which Hanks 
one side of the entrance of this, and is even now periodically 
crowned with garlands by the hero-worshipjDers of to day He 
lived till 1600 and had great influence upon the fate of the 
Nayakkan dynasty until his death. 

Visvanatha also added the fort of Trichinopoly to his posses- 
sions. The Vijayanagar viceroy who governed the Tanjore 
country had failed to properly police the pilgrim roads which ran 
through Trichinopoly to the shrines at Srirangam and Eames- 
varam, and devotees were afraid to visit those holy places. Visva- 
natha accordingly arranged to exchange that town for the fort of 
Vallam (in 'J'anjore), which was his at that time, lie is said to 
have then vastly improved the fortifications and town of Trichi- 
nopoly and the temple of Srirangam, and to have cleared the 
banks of the Cauvery of robbers. 

He had some difficulty with 'the five Pandyas,' who resisted 
the introduction of his authority into Tinnevelly, but he 
vanquished them at length (in circumstances set out with much 
poetic detail in the manuscripts) and then greatly improved the 
town and district of Tinnevelly. He is also credited with an 
expedition to subdue a local chieftain at Kambam (in the Teriya- 
kulam taluk) near the Travancore border. 

Visvanatha died full of years and honour in 1563. His name 
is still affectionately remembered as that of a great benefactor of 
his country. 

He was succeeded by his son Kumara Krishnappa (15o3-73), His 
who is represented as a brave and politic ruler. A revolt occurred l?,!.°?!?!^*f 
among the poligars daring his reign, but its leadei-, Tumbichi 
Nayakkan, was captured while holding the fort of Paramagudi 
in the Eamnad zamindari, and was beheaded ; and the trouble 
was quenched. Krishnappa is also declared to have conquered 
Ceylon — an exploit of which heroic details are given in the manu- 
scripts, but of which, in view of the silence of the usually candid 
annals of that island, the very existence may well be doubted. 



Fall of 

.en A P. II. He was succeeded in 1573 by his two sons, who ruled jointly 

Nayakkan and uneventfully till 1595 ; and they by their two sons, one of 

DYNASTY. ^j^^^ ^^^^^ ^.^ jg^.^^ 

These were followed by Muttu Krishnappa (1602-09). He 
is credited with the foundation of the dynasty of the Setupatis of 
Eamnad, the ancestors of the present Rdja of that place, who 
were given a considerable slice of territory in the Marava country 
on condition that they suppressed crime and protected pilgrims 
journeying to Ramesvaram through that wild and inhospitable 
region. Mr. Nelson's book (Pt. 3, 109-14 and elsewhere) deals 
at length with this transaction and other events in the history 
of the Setupatis, but these relate to the Ramnad zamindari 
and the present volume is not concerned with them. 

Muttu Krishnappa was succeeded by Muttu Virappa 
(1609-23), a hardly more distinct figure. 

Meanwhile, in ] 565, the power of the rulers of Vijayanagar, 
the suzerains of the Nayakkans,had been dealt an irreparable blow 
by the combined Musalman kings of the Deccan at the memo- 
rable battle of Talikota, one of the great landmarks in the 
history of south India. They were forced to abandon a large 
part of the districts of Bellary and Anantapur to the victorious 
Muhammadans, to flee hastily from Vijayanagar, and to establish 
their capital successively at Penukonda in Anantapur and at 
Chandragiri and Vellore in North Arcot. Their governors at 
Madura and Tanjore still paid them the usual tribute and marks 
of resppct, but in the years which now follow traces begin to appear 
of the weakness of the suzerain, and of contempt and finally 
rebellion on the part of his feudatories. 

Muttu Virappa mentioned above was succeeded by the great 
Tirumala Nayakkan, the most powerful and the best known 
of his dynasty, who ruled for thirty-six eventful years.' He 
was called upon to play his part in much more stirring times 
than his predecessors. The peace imposed upon the south by the 
sway of Vijayanagar had beeu dissolved by the downfall of that 
power, and the Pandya country was torn by the mutual quar- 
rels of the once feudatory governors (' Najakkans ') of Madura, 
Tanjore, Gingee and Mysore ; by the unavailing attempts of the 
last rulers of the dying empire to reassert their failing authority ; 
and finally by the incursions of the Muhammadan kings of the 
Deccan, who now began to press southwards to reap the real 
fruits of their victory at Talikota. An added trouble lay in the 




For an inscription giving his genealogy, see Ep. Ind., iii, 2S9. 


insubordination of the Setupatis of Ramnad, who took advan- CHAP. il. 
tage of the embarra8sment3 of the rulers of Madura to disobey Nayakkan 
their commands and [finally' to assume independence Tlio last- ^^y^y- 
named danger^ was not experienced l)y Tirumala himself, but 
was reserved to'perplex his successors. 

Almost the first act of his reign was to witlihold the tribute He doUca 
due to the king of Vijajanagar. Tlie letters of the Jesuit priests ^''Jayanagar. 
already mentioned showi-'d that he anticipated troubh? in conse- 
quence, and accordingly massed large bodies of troops in Trichi- 
nopoly and strengthened its fortifications. He none the less still 
sent_annual:complimentary messages and presents to his suzerain, 
and this sufficed for some time to appease the resentment of tho 
incapable representatives of that ancient line. But about 1 6HS 
king Eanga, a more resolute prince, succeeded to the throne of 
Chandragiri ; and he soon resolved to put an end to the contumacy 
of Tirumala and prepared to marcli south with a large and for- 
midable forcp. Tirumala had meanwhile persuaded tlie V^ijaya- 
nagar governors of Tanjore and Gingee (in South Arcot) to join 
him in his defiance of their mutual suzerain, and thus Eanga was 
left with only Mysore, of all his tributaries, to support him. He 
however continued his preparations, with the result that the 
governor of Tanjore eventually grew alarmed, sent in his sub- 
mission, and betrayed the designs of the confederates. 

Ranga advanced upon Gingee, but his plans were frustrated v&Uh iho 
by a desperate move on the part of Tirumala, who, reckless of the ^"ham- 
claims of a larger patriotism, succeeded in inducing the Muham- his aid, 
madan Sultan of Golconda (one of the confederacy who had been 
victorious at Talikota in 1 565) to invade the Vijayanagar king- 
dom from the north. 

Eanga was obliged to retrace his steps to protect his posses- 
sions, was defeated by Golconda, and was forced to march soutli 
again to implore the help of his rebellious governors against tlieir 
common foe, the Musalman. They refused, however, to aid him; 
and in the end Eanga Hcd, powerless and almost without a 
friend, to the protection of his only faithful vassal, the viceroy 
of Mysore. 

The Sultan of Golconda was satisfied for some time to consolidate 
his conquests in the north of the Vijayanagar country, but shortly 
afterwards (perhaps about 1044) he marched south to subdue its 
three rebellious governors and advanced upon the great fortress 
of Gingee. The Ndyakkan of Tanjore at once submitted to him, 
but Tirumala approached a rival Muhammadan, the Sultan of 






And becomes 



His wars 



Bijdpur, wlio sent a force to his assistance. These allies marched 
to the relief of Gingee, but hardly had they arrived there when the 
Bijdpur troops went over to the enemy, and joined in the siege of 
the fort thej had been sent to deliver. The Golconda king, 
however, was soon recalled by trouble in other parts of his new 
conquests, and Tirumala threw himself into the Gringee fortress. 
Owing to dissensions between his troops and those of the former 
garrison, however, the gates were opened not long afterwards to 
the troops of Bijapur and the town fell into the possession of the 

Tirumala retreated in dismay to Madura, and the Muham- 
marlans advanced triumphantly southwards, exacted submission 
from the governor of Tanjore, and proceeded to lay waste the 
Madura country. Tirumala then submitted, apparently without 
striking a blow, paid a large sum to the invaders, and agreed to 
send an annual tribute to the Sultan of Bijapur. Thus, after an 
interval of nearly 300 years, the Muhammadans were once again 
recognised as supreme in the district. 

Tirumala's next conflict was with Mysore. In the early years 
of his reign, before his troubles with the king of Vijayanagar 
and the Muhammadans, he had been involved in a short war with 
that kingdom. His territories had been invaded by the Mysore 
troops and Dindigul had been besieged, but the enemy had been 
eventually driven out and their country successfully invaded in 
revenge by a general of Tirumala's. Since then, as already noted, 
the Vijayanagar ruler had taken refuge with the king of Mysore, 
and now these two monarchs combined to endeavour to recover 
those portions of the former's territories which had recently been 
captured by Golconda. They were at first successful; but, whether 
actuated by jealousy or fear, Tirumala intervened and invited the 
I^Iuhammadans to attack Mysore from the south, throwing open 
the passes in his own country for the purpose. 

His proposal was accepted, Mysore was invaded, and a gen- 
eral war ensued which resulted in the final extinction of the power 
of Vijayanagar and the humbling of Mysore. Bat when return- 
ing in triumph from that country, the victorious Muhammadans 
came down to Madura and levied an enormous tribute from their 
humble friend Tirumala ; and, moving on to Tanjore, treated its 
Nayakkan in a like manner. So Tirumala profited little from 
this new treachery to the cause of Hinduism. 

It is not clear exactly when these events happened, but they 
appear to constitute the last interference of the Muhammadans 
in Madura affairs. Tirumala's only other external war occurred 





towards the close of Ins reign and was with Mysore. In this he CHAP. II 
is represented to have Leen altogether snccossful. 

The campaign "began with, an invasion of Coimbatore by the 
Mysore king — apparently in revenge for Tirumala's contribution 
to his recent humiliation at the hands of the Muhammadans. 
That district was occupied by the enemy with ease, and then 
Madura itself was threatened. The Mysore troops were however 
beaten off from the town (chieliy by the loyal assistance of the 
Setupati of Eamnad) defeated again iu the open, and driven in 
disorder up the ghdts into Mysore. I'he campaign was known as 
the ' hunt for noises ' owing to the fact that under the orders of the 
Mysore king the invaders cut off the noses of all their prisoners 
(men, women and children) and spnt them in sacks to Seringa- 
patam as glorious trophies. 

A counter invasion of Mysore was undertaken ^ll')l•tly after- 
wards under the command of Kumdra Muttu, the younger 
brother of Tirumala, and was crowned with complete success. 
The king of Mysore was captured and his nose was cut ofp and 
sent to IMadura. 

Tirumala died before his victorious brother's return. He was 
between sixty-five and seventy years of age at the time and had 
reigned for thirty-six eventful years. 

His territories at his death comprised the present districts of 
Madura (including the zamindaris of Eamnad and Sivagauga), 
Tinnevelly, Coimbatore, Salem and Trichinopoly, with Puduk- 
k6ttai and part of Travancore. Native tradition is persistent in 
declaring that he met his death by violence. Several stories are 
current, but two of them are more widely repeated than the others . 
The first of these says that he so nearly became converted to 
Christianity that he stopped his expenditure on the temples of the 
Hindu gods. This roused the Brahmans, and some of them, 
headed by a Bhattan (officiating priest of the great temple), 
enticed him to the temple under the pretence that they had found 
a great hidden treasure iij a vault there, induced him to enter the 
vault and then shut down its stone trap-door upon hiin, and gave 
out that the goddess Minakshi had translated her favourite to 
heaven. The second story avers that he had an intrigue with the 
wife of a Bhattan and^that^ as he wasjreturning from visiting her 
one dark night he fell into a well and was killed. Tlic Bhattan 
was so scared when he found what had happened that he at once 
filled in the well,; but afterwards told the Brahmans what he 
had done. 

His death. 






among his 

A carious 

Tinimala's character is summed up, probably with justice, in 
a letter written by one of the Jesuit priests just after his death 
and dated Trichinopoly, 1659 — 

* It is impossible to refuse him credit for great qualities, but he 
tarnished his glory at the end of his life by follies and vices which 
nothing could j ustify. He was called to render account to God for 
the evils which his i)olitical treachery had brought upon his own 
people and the neighbouring kingdoms. His reign was rendered 
illustrious by works of really royal magnificence. Among these are 
the pagoda of Madura, several public buildings, and above all the 
ro3'al palace the colossal proportions and a«tonishing boldness of 
which recall the ancient monuments of Thebes. He loved and pro- 
tected the Christian religion, tho excf-llence of which he recognised ; 
but he never had the courage to accept the consequences of his con- 
viction. The chief obstacle to his conversion came from his 200 wives, 
of whom the most distinguished were burnt on his pyre. ' 

During his reign, two rebellions occurred among his vassals. 
Tlie first was raised by the Setupati ot Kamnad. It was due to 
an unjust order of Tirumala's regarding the succession to the 
C'hiefship of that country in 1035, which was resisted by the 
rightful claimant and by the Maravans themselves. Tirumala was 
successful in placing his nominee on the throne and in imprison- 
ing the rival aspirant, but he was ultimately compelled to allow 
the latter to succeed. He was rewarded by the loyalty of Eamnad 
in his last war with Mysore. 

The other rebellion was raised by a confederacy of poligars 
headed by the powerful chief of Ettaiyapuram in the Tinnevelly 
district. Its cause is not clear. The Setupati of Btimnad, as 
chief of all the poligars, was entrusted with the duty of quelling 
it, and performed this undertaking satisfactorily. The leader was 
I'Ut to death and the others suitably punished ; and peace was 
restored in a few months. 

The letters of the Jesuits relate a carious event which took 
jilace in the Madura country about 1C53. The whole territory 
was thrown into a state of great nervous excitement by the 
spreading in every direction of one of those mysterious and extra- 
ordinary rumours which spring up now and again in India, no 
one knows where or how. An infant emperor of divine birth, 
it was declared, would sliortly appear from the'north and usher in 
a millennium of peace and plenty. The story obtained universal 
credence, and large sums of money were collected for the use of the 
deliverer when he should arrive. But he never did arrive. A 
woman and child were brought to Bangalore by the perpetrators 
of the rumour, and vast multitudes flocked thither to pay their 


respects and offer presents to the supposed emperor; bat after CHAP. II. 
squeezing all that was possible out of the pi-etenders, the Musal- NIyakkan 
man rulers of that town cut off their heads and ordered their 
followers to disperse immediately. 


Tirumala's capital was Madura. The royal residence had Tirumala's 
been reuioved thence to Trichinopoly by his predecessor, but ^^P'**'- 
Tirumala moved it back again, notwithstanding the fact that 
Trichinopoly, with its almost impregnable rock, its never- 
failing Cauvery river and its healthy climate, was by nature 
far superior to Aiadura, where the fort was on level ground, the 
Yaigai was usually dry and fever was almost endemic. The 
reason given in the old manuscripts for the change is that 
Tirumala was afflicted with a grievous long-standing catarrh 
wliicli none of the V^aishnavite gods of Trichinopoly could (or 
would) cure. One day when he was halting at Dindigul on his 
way to Madura, Sundaresvara and Minakshi, the Saivite deities of 
the latter place, appeared to him in a dream and promised him 
that if he would reside permanently in their town they would cure 
him. He vowed that he would do so and would spend five lakhs 
of pons on sacred works. Immediately afterwards, as he was 
cleaning his teeth in the early morning, the disease left him ; 
and thenceforth he devoted himself to the cult of Saivism and 
the improvement of Madura. None the less, he resided a good 
deal at Trichinopoly, and his successors (though they went to 
Madura to be crowned) generally dwelt there permanently. 

It is, however, by his many splendid public buildings in His jiublio 
Madura that he is best remembered at the present time. They """""'e'- 
are referred to in some detail in the account of the place on pp. 
257-78 below. The largest and most magnificent of them was the 
great palace which still goes by his name. Much of this was 
removed to Trichino})oly in later years by his grandson Chokka- 
ndtha, but none the less the portions of it which survive were 
thouglit by Bishop Caldwell to constitute the grandest building 
of its kind in southern India.' 

The beautiful Teppakulam at Madura, the Fudu maniapam 
and the unfinished tower called the Rdya (jopuram belonging to 
the great temple there (and doubtless other additions to that 
building), and (perhaps) the Tamakam, the curious building in 
which the Collector now resides, were also due to his taste for the 

' History of TiHnevully, 01. 






Mnttu Alaka- 
dii, lGoy-62. 

His troubles 
wit.h his 

Tirumala was succeeded "by his son Muttu Alak^dri. It is 
perhaps surprising that Tirumala's brother — who, as has been seen, 
had just returned to Madura from Mysore at the head of a 
victorious army — should not have attempted to seize the crown; 
but he was prevailed upon to accept the governorship of Sivakasi 
in Tinnevelly district. 

Almost the first act of the new king was an attempt to 
shake off the liated Muhammadan yoke. He tried to induce 
the Nayakkan of Tanjore to join the enterprise, but only succeed- 
ed in involving him in the punishment which the Musalmana 
meted out when his efforts ended in failure. For though the 
Tanjore ruler disclaimed all connection with his neighbour's 
aspirations and attempted to conciliate the Musalmans, the 
latter none the less marched into his country, took Tanjore 
and Vallam and drove the Nayakkan to fly into tlie jungle. The 
invaders then moved against Trichinopoly and Madura, spreading 
havoc far and wide, while Muttu Alakadri remained inactive 
behind the walls of the former of these forts. Fortunately for 
him, the enemy soon had to retire, for their cruel devastations 
produced a local famine and pestilence from which they themselves 
suffered terribly. They accordingly made a half-hearted attempt 
on Trichinopoly and then permitted tliemselves to be bought off 
for a very moderate sum. Muttu Alakadri did not long survive 
their departure, but gave himself up to debauchery with an 
abandon which soon brought him to a dishonoured grave. 

He was succeeded by his son Chokkan^tha (1662-82), a 
promising boy of sixteen. This young ruler began his reign with 
a second ill-considered attempt to drive out the Musalman troops, 
despatching a large army against the Gingee fortress. His 
general, however, sold himself to the enemy and wasted time and 
money in a long and unprofitable campaign which was little but 
pretence. Chokkanatha was also harassed by a domestic con- 
spiracy (in which the same unfaithful general took a prominent 
part) and though he detected and quashed this, the general went 
over openly to the Muhammadans and induced them to join in an 
assault upon Trichinopoly in which they had the countenance (if 
not the practical assistance) of the Nayakkan of Tanjore. The 
officers whom Chokkanatha entrusted with the duty of repelling 
the attack were again disloyal, and it was not until he himself at 
length took command of the army that the invaders were driven 
back to Tanjore and eventually to Gingee. 

So far things had not gone so badly, but in tlie next or the 
following year (1663 or 1664) Chokkanatha paid a heavy price for 


his temporary success. The Muliainmadans burst into the CHAP. ll. 
Trichinopoly and Madura districts and devastated tlie country NXyakkan 
with almost incredible cruelty. They again besieged Tricliino- Dy-^'^sty. 
poly, and this time Chokkanatha had to buy them off with a 
large sum. He consoled himself by punisliing the Nayakkan of 
Tanjore for assisting them, and he attempted similar reprisals on 
the Setupati of Eamnad, who had failed to help him in repelling 
them. This latter enterprise was unsuccessful, for though 
Chokkanatha succeeded in taking several forts in the Marava 
country, he was baffled by the guerilla tactics of his adversary, 
and had to retire without obtaining that cliief's submission. The 
campaign marks a new epoch in the relations of Ramnad and 
Madura : from thenceforth the Setupati aspired to an independent 

Chokkanatha's next war was with Tanjore, and it resulted in His oonqneat 
the capture of that ancient city and the extinction of its Nayakkan xanio^r^e ° 
dynasty. Unluckily the Jesuit letters of the years 1666 to 1673 
have been lost, and the only authority upon these exciting events 
is a vernacular manuscript. This has been abstracted at length 
by Mr. Nelson, but space forbids more than the merest summary 
of its contents. 

The casus J>elH, says this authority, was tlie refusal of the 
Tanjore Nayakkan to give his beautiful and gifted daughter in 
marriage to Chokkanatha. The latter determined to fetch the 
maiden by force. His troops invaded the Tanjore country, drove 
its forces back into their capital, and successfully stormed tliat 
place. But they did not get the p)rincess : her father placed her 
and all the other ladies of the palace in one room, blew this up 
with gunpowder and then, with his son and his body-guard, 
charged furiously into the thickest of the enemy, was captured 
after a desperate resistance, and was beheaded. 

Chokkanatha placed his foster-brother Alagiri in cliarge of 
the government of Tanjore, but within a year the latter threw off 
his allegiance, and Chokkanatha was now so given up to self- 
indulgence and so ill served by his disloyal officers that, after an 
outburst of indignation which ended in notliing, he was forced to 
acquiesce in the independence of Tanjore. 

Alagiri, however, was not long permitted to enjoy his ill- 
gotten kingdom. A sou or grandson of the last Tanjore Nayakkan 
had escaped to the Mus.ilman court of Bijapur and had induced 
that power to help to place him on the throne of his fathers. In 
1674 the Sultan of Bijapur sent a force commanded by the 
Mar^tha general Venkaji {alias Ekoji) to turn out the Madura 






Attacked by 
Mysore and 
the Marathas. 

usurper and reinstate the scion of the old line. Yenk^ji ventured 
little until the occurrence of the rupture between Chokkandtha 
and Alagiri; but he then defeated the latter with ease, and 
occupied Tanjore. He did not, however, place his protege on 
the throne, though he treated him kindly enough, but seized 
the kingdom for himself. So the outcome of CJhokkanatha's 
feebleness was that a Maratha, instead of a Nayakkan, sat upon 
tlie throne of Tanjore. 

Vonkaji shortly afterwards became embroiled with his famous 
half-brother Sivaji, and Chokkanatha attempted to take advan- 
tage of the circumstance to regain his hold on Tanjore. But he 
was dilatory in the field and in his negotiations, and Venk^ji 
succeeded in buying off the hostility of Santoji (the son of Sivaji, 
whom tlie latter had despatched against him) before Chokkanatha 
could effect anything. This was in lb'77-78. 

Soon afterwards, Chokkanatha was forced to turn from aggres- 
sion to the defence of his own kingdom. The famous Chikka 
Deva Eaya, king of Mysore from 1672 to 1704, had for some time 
been massing troops on his frontier, and now burst upon Coim- 
batore and spread havoc far and wide. Chokkanatha did little 
to repel him, the country was moreover visited with famine and 
pestilence, and in despair the ministers of the state deposed their 
incompetent I'uler in favour of his brother. 

The change was not for the better, and the parlous state 
of Madura and its territories in 1678 may be gathered from 
the following passage iu a letter written by one of the Jesuit 
missionaries in that year : — 

' The capital, formerly bo flonrishing, is no longer recognizable. 
Its palaces, onre so gorgeous and majestic, are deserted and falling 
to ruin. Madura resembles less a town than a brigand's haunt. The 
new Nayakkan is essentially a do-; otliing king. He sleeps- all niglit, 
he sleeps all day ; and his neighbours, who do not sleep, snatch from 
him each moment some fragment of his territories. Nations who 
would profit from a change of rulers do not trouble to repel invaders, 
and everything foretells that this kingdom, 60 powerful twenty years 
back, will soon be the prey of its enemies, or rather the victim of the 
insane policy of its own government.' 

Chokkanatha was replaced on his tottering throne about 1678 
by a Muhammadan adventurer who during the next two years 
usurped the whole of his authority (and even the ladies of his and 
his fallen brother's harems) and at last was slain by Chokkanatha 
himself and a few of his friends. But the Nayakkan^s position 
was still far from enviable. In 1682 his capital was besieged by 
MyBore ; was shadowed by forces belonging to the Marathas, 


who, while pretending to be on his side, were only waiting for CHAP. IT. 
a chance to seize his territory for themselves ; and was threatened N^yakkan 
by a body of Maravans who noniin'-iUy had hurried to his ^^nast^. 
assistance, but in reality had only come to share in the booty 
which the sack of Trichinopoly was expected to yield. 

While Chokkanatha thus sat helpless behind his defences, Tho latter 
matters were taken out of his hands by the more virile actors upon ^^^^^ ^^"^ 
this curious scene. The Marathas, who were now established in 
Gingee as well as in Tanjure, inflicted a crushing defeat on the 
Mysore troops and drove them out of almost every corner of the 
Madura and Trichinopoly districts. Madura itself they were 
unable to capture, for the Maravans, regarding the men of 
Mysore as on the whole more eligible neighbours than the 
Marathas, helped the former to hold that fortress. The latter 
then turned against Chokkandtha, whose friends they had 
pretended to be, and laid siege to Trichinopoly itself. In despair 
at their treachery, Chokkandtha died of a broken heart in lb82. 

His successor was his son Eanga Krishna Muttu Yirappa, a Raiiga 
boy of fifteen, who ruled for seven years. Little enough of his ^r'^'fJ^^*^ 
territories remained to him to rule. The greater part of them ViVappa 
was held by Mysore, some by the Maravans, some by the (l*'^2-89). 
Marathas of Gingee and some by the Marathas of ^J'anjore. The 
country was a prey to complete anarchy and universal pillage, 
foreign enemies occupying all the forts and robber-chiefs being 
masters of the rural areas and carrying on their brigandage with 

Matters, however, slowly improved. Mysore was soon dis- Matters 
tracted by a war with the Marathas of Gingee, and both the '™l'*°^'*'- 
Setupatis of Eamnad and the Marathas of Tanjore were occupied 
by domestic outbreaks in their own countries. A new disturb- 
ing factor in south Indian politics had also appeared on the scene 
in the person of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who in 1686-87 
conquered the kingdoms of Madura's old enemies, Golconda and 
Bijdpur, and was for many years engaged in a war with its foes 
the Marathas which was most exhausting to both parties. More- 
over the young Nayakkan of Madura, though imbued witli a 
boyish love of fun and adventure which endeared him to his 
courtiers, had also a stock of sound ability and spirit which 
moved the admiration of his ministers, and he took advantage 
of his improving prospects. He recovered his capital about 1685, 
and though he failed in an attempt to reduce the Setupati in 
1 686, he gradually reconquered large parts of the uncient kingdom 
of his forefatheits and succeeded in restoring the power of the 



CHAP. ir. 




Her charities. 

Her ware. 

N^yakkans of Madura to a position which, though not to be 
compared with that held by it at the beginning of his father's 
reign, was still far above that which it occupied at the end of that 
period. He unfortunately died of small-pox ia 1689 at the early 
age of 22. The story goes that his young widow Muttammdl 
(the only woman, strange to say, whom he had married) was 
inconsolable at his loss and, though she was far advanced in 
pregnancy, insisted upon committing sati on his funeral pyre. 
Her husband's mother, Mangammdl, with great difficulty per- 
suaded her to wait until her child should have been born, solemnly 
swearing that she should then have her way. When at length 
the cLild (a son) arrived, she was put off day after day with 
various excuses until, despairing of being allowed her desire, she 
put an end to her life. 

Mangammal, the mother of the late Nayakkan, acted 
for the next fifteen years as Queen- Regent on behalf of his 
posthumous son. 

She was a popular administrator and is still widely remembered 
by Hindus as a maker of roads and avenues, and a builder of 
temples, tanks and choultries. Popular belief unhesitatingly 
ascribes to her every fine old avenue in Madura and Tinnevelly. 
Native writers assign a curious reason for her passion for 
charitable acts. One day, th(^y say, she inadvertently put betel 
into her mouth with her left (instead of her right) hand, and 
was warned by the Brahmans that this offence against manners 
must be expiated by expenditure of this kind. Mr. Taylor has 
suggested that this story hides her repentance for some amorous 

She was an able woman as well as a charitable, and under her 
firm guidance Madura apparently all but regained the proud 
position it had held in the days of Tirumala Nayakkan. 
Unluckily, the Jesuit letters from 1687 to 169M, both inclusive, 
have again been lost and the events of her regency cannot be 
given with any fullness. 

She was less frequently engaged in war than her predecessors, 
but she did not escape the usual conflicts with her neighbours. 
In her reign the kingdom of Madura first came into direct touch 
with the Mughal empire of Delhi, since Zulfikar Khan, the 
general who was sent by Auraugzeb to attack the Maratha 
stronghold of Gingee, exacted tribute both from Trichinopoly and 
Tanjore in 1693, though he did not succeed in taking Gingee till 
five years later. Trichinopoly was besieged (according to Wilks) 



by Mysore in 1695, but relieved owing to pressure on the CHAP. II. 

invader's country from tlie north. NXyakkan 


In 1698 Mangammdl had to subdue a rebellion in Travancore. 
The ruler of that country had of recent years been very remiss in 
sending his tribute to Madura, and it had been necessary on 
several occasions to send an army to collect the arrears. In 1697 
a force despatched for this purpose was taken oil' its guard and 
almost cut to pieces. A punitive expedition was organized in the 
following year, and after hard fighting Travancore was subdued 
and an immense booty was brought home. Part uf this consisted 
of many cannon, and these were mounted, says one of the ver- 
nacular manuscripts, on the ramparts of Trichinopoly and Madura. 
Mr. Nelson made many enquiries about these latter, but failed to 
unearth any tradition regarding their ultimate fate. 

In 1700 a desultory war, the origin and course of whicli are 
alike obscure, was carried on between Madura and the Marathas 
of Tanjore. In the following year the latter were crushingly 
defeated near their capital, and were glad enough to buy oif the 
invading army with an enormous bribe. 

In 170<J Tanjore and Madura united to reduce Ramnad. 
Strange to relate, they were quite unsuccessful, and the ablest 
general of the Madura army was killed in battle. 

In 1704-05 Mangammal's grandson came of age. Tradition Hertraijio 
says that she refused to make way for him and that she was <*®at.h. 
supported in her intention by her chief minister, a man with whom 
she was on terms of undue intimacy. A strong party formed 
against her, seized her and confined her in the building in Madura 
which is still called ' Mangammal's palace,' was once the District 
Jail and is now occupied by the taluk cutcherry and other public 
offices. There, goes the story, she was slowly starved to death, 
her sufferings being aggravated, with horrible cruelty, by the 
periodical placing cf food outside her prison bars in such a position 
that she could see and smell, but not reach, it. Some slight 
confirmation of the tradition is derived from the facts that in tlie 
little chapel built by Mangammal on the west side of ' the folden 
lily tank ' in the Madura temple is a statue of a young man who 
is declared to be her minister and paramour, and that in a picture 
on the ceiling of the chapel is a portrait of the same person 
opposite to one of the queen, who (be it noted) is dressed, not as 
an orthodox Hindu widow should be, but in jewels and finery 
appropriate only to a married woman. 



His feeble 

CHAP. II. Uer grandson Vijaya Eanga Chokkanatha (1704-31) enjoyed 

NXyakkan a long" but apparently dull reign of 26 years. It is unfortunate 

D ynast y. ^-^^^ ^^^^ Jesuit letters wbicli so greatly illumine previous 

Vijaya fianga periods of Madura history now cease altogether, and from this 

^1^04-31^ * time forth we are driven to rely almost entirely upon native 

manuscripts and the secondary evidence afforded by English 

historians. And, curiously enough, the nearer we approach the 

period of the beginning of Hritish ascendancy in the south, the 

more meagre and unsatisfactory does our information become. 

Judging from such material as is available, it seems that the 
new ruler of Madura was vain and weak-minded, and unfit to 
govern either himself or others. His reign was distinguished by 
the ill-regulated and extraordinary munificence of his gifts to 
Brahmans and religious institutions. Every other year he used, 
it is said, to travel to one or other of the famous shrines within 
his territories, and on these occasions he lavished gifts on all who 
could gain access to him. The injustice of his rule caused a 
serious riot in Madura, the mutiny of the whole of his troops, and 
incessant internal commotions. It must have been owing solely 
to their own embarrassments that his neighbours did not attempt 
to despoil his kingdom. 

The only warfare in which he seems to have been engaged 
was connected with the succession to the throne of Bamnad in 
1725. Of the two claimants to that position, one was supported 
by Tanjore and the other by Madura and the Tondaman of 
Tudukkottai. The Tanjore troops won a decisive victory and 
placed their protege on the throne, A year or two later, however, 
the Tanjore king himself deposed this very piotege, and divided 
the Eamnad kingdom into the two separate divisions of Eamnad 
and Sivaganga, which henceforth remained iudependent Marava 

Yijaya Ranga Chokkanatha died in 1731, and was succeeded 
by his widow Minakslii, who acted as Queen-Eegent on behalf of 
a young boy she had adopted as the heir of her dead husband. 
She had only ruled a year or two when an insurrection was raised 
against her by Vangaru Tirumala, the father of her adopted son, 
who pretended to have claims of his own to the throne of Madura. 
At this juncture the representatives of the Mughals appeared on 
the scene and took an important part in the struggle. 

It must be remembered that ever since 1693 Madura had 
been nominally the feudatory of the emperor of Delhi, and that 
Binoe 1698 the Carnatic north of the Coleroon river had been 




under direct MnhamiTiadan rnle. The local representative of CIIAf. IT. 
the Mughal was tlie Nav.ah of Arcot, and an intermediate Nayakkan 
autlioritj was held hy the Nizam of Ifaidarahad, who was in J_^ 

theory the subordinate of the emperor, and the suiierior of the 

How regidarly the kings of Tanjore and Madura paid their 
tribute is not clear, but in 1734 — about the time, in fact, that 
Minakshi and Vangaru Tirumala were fighting for the crown — 
an expedition was sent by the then Xawab of Arcot to exact 
tribute and submission from the kingdoms of the south. The 
leaders of tliis were the Nawab's son, Safdar Ali Khan, and his 
nephew and confidential adviser, the well-known Chanda Sahib, 

The invaders took Tanjore by storm and, leaving the strong- 
hold of Trichinopoly unattemptcd, swept across Madura and 
Tinnevelly and into Travancore, carrying all before them. It 
was apparently on their return from this expedition that they 
took part in the quarrel between Minakshi and Vangaru 
Tirumala. The latter ♦approached Safdar Ali Khan with an 
offer of three million rupees if he would oust the queen in favour 
of himself. Unwilling to attack Trichinopoly, the ^lusalman 
prince contented himself with solemnly declaring \'angdru 
Tirumala to be king and taking a bond for the three millions. 
He then marched away, leaving Chanda Sahib to enforce his 
award as best as he could. The queen, alarmed at the turn 
affairs had now taken, approached Chanda Sdhib with counter 
inducements to take her side ; and had little difficulty in persuad- 
ing that facile politician to accept her bond for a crore of rupees 
and to declare her duly entitled to the throne, ^linakshi, says 
Wilks, required him to swear on the Koran that he would adhere 
faithfully to his engagement, and he accordingly took an oath on 
a brick wrapped up in the splendid covering usually reserved for 
that holy book. lie was admitted into the Trichinopoly fort and 
Vangaru Tirumala — apparently with the goodwill of the queen, 
who, strangely enough, does not seem to have wished him 
any harm — went off to Madura, to rule over that country and 

Chanda Sahib accepted an earnest of the payment of the 
crore of rupees and departed to Arcot. Two years later (1780) 
he returned, was again admitted into the fort and proceeded to 
make himself master of the kingdom. Mindkshi was soon little 
but a puppet. Orme, indeed, suggests that she had fallen in 
love with Chanda Sdhib and so let him have his own way 






End of 
dynast jr. 

Character cf 

its rule. 


Chanda S.-ihib 

A Maratiia 



The latter eventually marched against Vang^ru Tirumala, who 
was still ruling in the south, defeated him at Ammayanayakkanur 
and Pindigul, drove him to take refuge in ."^ivaganga, and 
occupied the southern provinces of the Madura kingdom, leaving 
now made himself master of all of the unfortunate Minakshi's 
realms he threw off the mask, ceased to treat her with the 
consideration he had hitherto extended to her, locked her up in 
her palace and proclaimed himself ruler of her kingdom. The 
hapless lady took poison shortly afterwards. 

With her reign, came to an end the ancient dynasty of the 
Nayakkans of Madura. The unprejudiced evidence of the Jesuit 
missionaries already several times referred to enables us to form a 
more accurate estimate of their administration than is usually 
possible in such cases. Bishop Caldwell, in summing this up, 
sardonically remarks that it is unfortunate for their reputation 
that so much more is known about them and their proceedings 
than about their Chola and Pandya predecessors. He concludes 
by saying^ that — 

* Judged not merely by modern European standards of i ight and 
wrong, but even by the standards furnished by Hindu and Muham- 
madan books of authority, the Nayakkans must be decided to have 
fallen far short of their duty as rulers. Their reigns record little more 
than a disgraceful catalogue of debaucheries, treacheries, plunderings, 
oppressions, murders and civil commotions, relieved only by the facti- 
tious splendour of gifts to temples, idols and priests, by mrans of 
which they apparently succeeded in getting the Brahmans and poets 
to speak well of them, and thus in keeping ihe mass of the people 
patient uuder their misrule.' 

For a time, Chanda Sahib had everything his own way. His 
success was indeed regarded with suspicion and even hostility by 
the Nawab of Arcot ; but family reasons prevented a rupture, 
and Chanda Sahib was left undisturbed while he strengthened 
the fortifications of Trichinopoly and appointed his two brothers 
as go^ernors of the strongholds of Dindigul and Madura. It was 
at this period that he subjugated the king o^' T'anjore (though he 
did not annex his territory), and compelled him to cede Kctraikkal 
to the French. 

Unable to help themselves, the king of Tanjore and Vangaru 
Tirumala determined to call in the assistance of the Marathas 
of Satara in Bombay. These people had their own grievance 
against the Muhammadans of Arcot (with whom Chanda Sahib 
was still identified) because the latter had long delayed payment 

^ ffisiory of Tiw^evelly, 62. 


of the chouth, or one- fourth of the revenues, which tlicy had pro- CHAP. II. 
miseJ iu return for the withdrawal of the Marathas from the Musalma.x 
country, and the discontinuance of their usual predatory incursions. "___ " ' 
They were also encouraged to attempt reprisals by the Nizam of 
Haidarahad, who, jealous of the increasing- power of the Nawdb 
and careless of the loyalty due to co-religionists, would gladly 
have seen his dangerous subordinate brought to the ground. 

Early in 1740, therefore, the Marathas appeared with avast 
array in the south and defeated and killed the Nawab of A root in 
the pass of Damalcheruvu in North Arcot. They then came to an 
understanding wuth his son, the Safdar Ali mentioned above, 
recognised him as Nawab, and retired for a time. 

Chanda Sahib had made a faint pretence at helping the 
Nawab to resist the Marathas, and he now came to offer his 
submission to Safdar Ali. The princes parted with apparent 
amity, but at the end of the same year the Marathas (at the 
secret invitation of Safdar Ali) suddenly reappeared and made 
straight for Trichinopoly. Iheir temporary withdrawal had been 
designed to put Chanda Sahib off his guard ; and it so far 
succeeded that Trichinopoly was very poorly provisioned. They 
invested the town closely, defeated and killed the two brothers 
of Chanda Sabib above mentioned as they advanced to his help 
from their provinces of Madura and Dindigul, and, after a siege 
of three months, compelled the surrender of Trichinopoly. Thoy 
took Chanda captive to Satara, and, disregarding the claims of 
Vangaru Tirumala, appointed a Maratha, the well-known Morari 
Rao of Gooty, as their governor of the conquered kingdom. 

Morari Eao remained there fur two years (it is not clearly Musalman 
known what he did or how far his authority extended) and he a^^honty ro- 

„ . ,. -in^oin • T r'i-i-».T. established, 

nnaliy retired m 174o beiore the invading army or the Nizam, 174.3. 

who marched south in that year, re-established bis weakened 

authority in the Carnatic, and in 1 744 appointed Anwar-ud-din as 

Nawab of Arcot, 

Tne whole of the Madura kingdom now fell under the rule of 

this latter potentate. There is reason to believe that he governed 

it through his sons Mahfuz Khan and Muhammad Ali, both soon 

to play an important part in the history of these districts. It is 

said that the Nizam ordered that Vangaru Tirumala should to 

appointed king of Madura; but, if sucli an order was ever made, 

it was disregarded; and that feeble individual sotm disappeared 

finally from the scene, poisoned, some say, Ijy Aiiwai--ud-(.liii. 

As late as 1820, a descendant of his, bearing tlie same name, 

was in Madras endeavouring to obtain pecuniary assistance from 





The rival 




Siege of 

Government. lie and Lis family lived at Yellaikr.riclii in ite 
K^ivaganga zamin.lari and their c'lildren were there until quite 
recently. It is said that tlioy still kept up the old form of having 
recited, o'.i the first day of Chittrai in each year, a long account 
of their pedigree and the boundaries of the great kingdom of 
which their forebears were rulers. 

In 171-8, however, Chanda Sahib regained his liberty and 
marched south in company with a pretender to the position of 
Nizam of Ilaidarabad. Tbe allies were successful, Anwar-ud- 
din wa3 slain at the great battle of Arablir in North Arcot, and 
Chanda Sahib succeeded him. One of his sons, Muhammad Ali, 
fled however to Trichinop )ly and proclaimed himself Nawab there, 
and soon most of the south of India was involved in tbe struggle 
between these rivals. Tho French anl the English (who had 
recently been fighting among themselves, were now nominally at 
peace, and consequently both had more soldiers than they knew 
wdiat to do with) took sides in the conflict (tho former taking' the 
part of Chanda Sahib and the latter that of Muhammad Ali) and the 
campaigns which followed were in reality a disguised struggle 
for the mastery of south India by these two European nations. 

It is not in any way necessary to follow the fortunes of the 
■war ill detail, as they are concerned less with Madura than with 
other districts further north, and we may confine ourselves to 
some account of the events which directly affected the present 
Madura country. In these the French hal little share. Their 
energies were chic-fly confined to the country further north. 
The English, however, obtuiced each year henceforth a more and 
more predominant share in the government of Madura and 
Tinucveily, and the history of these tracts becomes a chronicle of 
the East India Company's dealings v/ith them. 

In 1751, after several startling turns of Fortune's wheel, 
Chanda Saliib was very generally recognised as Nawab of Arcot. 
Muhammad Ali, however, had many adherents in Tinnevelly and 

In this same year 1751, occurred the first siege of tho Madura 
fort of which any account survives. One Alam Khan, a soldier 
of fortune who had formerly been in Chanda Sahib's employ came, 
says Ormo — 

'To Madura, where his roputatioii .as au excellent officer soou 
gained liini iufiiieuce and respect, which he oinplo3''ed to corrupt the 
garrison, and sncceede I so well, lli:it the troops created him governor, 
and consented to maintain the ci*y under his authority for Chanda 
SaheVi, whom he ackf-iowledgod as his sovereign .... The lofls 


of tliis place, by cutting elf the commnnication between Tritcbinopoly CIIAP. II. 
jind the countries of Tinivellr, deprived Mahomed-ally of more than English 
one half of the dominions which at this time remained under hig Tkriod. 
jurisdiction. On receiving the news, Captain Cope offered his 
service to ret;il<e it. His detachment Mas ill-eqni])ped fur a siege, 
for they had brocglit no battering cannon from Fort St. David, 
and there were but two serviceable pieces in the cit}' : \\ith one 
of these, three fi^'ld pieces, two cohorus, and 150 Europeans, he 
marched away, accompanied by tOO of the Nabob's [_t.e., Na^ab's] 
cavalry, commanded by another of his brothers Abdul-wahab Kiuin ; 
and on the day that they arrived in sight of ^Madura, they were 
joined by the army retarniug from Tinivelly. There were several 
large brearihes in the outward wall ; the gun fired through one of 
them on the inward wall, and in two days demolished a part of it, 
although not sufficient to make the breach accessible without the 
help of fascines. Difficult as it was, it was necessary either to ttorm 
it im.mediately, or to relinquish the siege, for all the shot of tlie 
great gun were expeuded. The sepoys, encouraged by a distribution 
of some money, and a ju-omise of mucli more if the place shotld be 
taken, went to the attack with as much spirit as the Europeans. The 
first wall was passed without resistance, and at the foot of the breach 
in the second appeared three champions, one of them a very bulky 
man in compleat armour, who fought manfully with their swords, and 
wounded several of the forlorn hope, but were at last witli difHculty 
killed. Whilst the troops were mounting the breach, they were 
severely annoyed by arrows, stones, and the fire of matchlocks; 
notwithstanding whicli they gained the parapet, where the enemy had 
on each side of the entrance raised a mouud of earih, on which they had 
laid horizontally some palm trees sepai-ated from each other, and 
through these intervals they thrust their pilces. At the bottom of the 
rampart within the wall, they had made a strong retrenchment, with 
a ditch; and three or four thousand men appeared ready to defend 
this work with all kinds of arms. The troops, wounded by the pikes 
as fast as they mounted, were not able to keep possession of the para- 
pet, and after fightiog until ninety men were disabled, relinquished 
the attack. Four Europeans were killed : the sepoys suffered more, 
and four of their captains were desperately wounded. The next day 
Captain Cope prepared to return to Tritchiuopoly, and blew the 
cannon to pieces, for vr ant of means to carry it away. The troops of 
Mahomed-ally, encouraged by tliis repulse, no longer, concealed their 
disaffection, and 500 horse, with 1,000 peons, vrent over to Allnm 
Khan before the English broke up their camp, and two or three days 
after, near '2,000 more horsemen deserted likewise to the enemy.' 

After ruling- Madura for a year, Alani Kliau went to Triclii- 
nopoly to take part in the fighting which was going on there, and 
was killed in 1752. Before leaving Madura lie appointed one 
Mayana; a relation, to be governor of Madura, and one Nabi Khdn 





Col. Heron's 



I/Iahfuz Khan 
rents the 

to quiet it. 

to command Tinnevelly. These two men and Muhammad Barki, 
son-in-law of the latter of them, were the signatories to a paper 
which Muhammad Ali afterwards produced as evidence of his 
title to the sovereignty of Madura and Tinnevelly. 

At the beginning of l7o5 Muhammad Ali sent another expedi- 
tion to reduce these two districts to obedience. It consisted of 
600 Europeans and 2,000 sepoys furnished by his ally the English 
East India Company and commanded by Colonel Heron, and of 
1,000 horse led by Mahfuz Kh;in, Muhammad All's elder brother. 
The 2,000 sepoys were in charge of Muhammad Yusuf Khan, 
a distinguished native officer of the Company whom we shall 
meet again. 

This force took Madura without any opposition (Mayana had 
neglected its fortifications and depleted its garrison) and then 
seized the temple of Kovilkudi, east of the town, where Mayana 
had taken refuge. From this building the English soldiers un- 
thinkingly carried off those little metal images of the gods of the 
Kalians which brought them so much trouble in the Nattam pass 
(see the account of this place on p. 289) on their way back. 

Before Colonel Heron left, Mahfuz Khdn — having, according 
to Orm.e, ' contrived every means to make the state of the province 
appear less advantageous than it really was ' — obtained from him 
a lease of the Madura and Tinnevelly districts at an annual rental 
of 15 lakhs of rupees. Colonel Heron's consent to the arrange- 
ment is declared to have been hastened by the offer of a consider- 
able present. 

Mahfuz Khan's administration was a total failure, and in 1756 
the Company saw that the time for more decisive action had come. 
Not being able to spare any Europeans, they despatched to the 
south the Muhammad Yusuf already mentioned, the commandant 
of all their sepoys. He was sent with some 1,400 men and given 
orders to combine them with the troops of Mahfuz Khan and the 
Nawdb and take command of the whole. 

He passed through Madura, on his way to the Tinnevelly 
country, in April 1756, and the following passage from Orme 
aptly illustrates the reasons which had led to his being sent to the 
south and the difficulties with which he had to contend : — 

' During this progress Mahomed Issoof had not been able to 
collect any money from the revenues, for the maintenance of his troops ; 
because the ravages of the Polygars had ruined most of the villages 
and cultivated lands of the country through which he passed; and the 
real detriment of these devastationa was increased by the pretences 
they furnished the land-holders to falsify their accounts, and plead 



exemptions for more than tlif-y had lost. Up found Mapliuzo Cawn CHAP. II. 
in greater distress than himself, unahle either to fulfil the stipulations Knci.iph 
at which he had reut<".] the country froni Colonel ITeron, or to sii])]ilv PKRion. 
the pay of the Company's sepoys left with him under the eommand of 
Jemaul Saheb, or even to furnish enough, exclusive of long arrears, 
for the daily subsistence of his own troops. This distress naturally 
deprived him of the necessary authority over the Jemmadars, or officers 
of his cavalry, who in Indostan, as the ancient mercenary captains of 
Italy, hire out their hands, and gain not a little by the bargain. 
Every kind of disorder likewise prevailed in all the other departments 
of his administration, at the same time that the indolence and irreso- 
lution of his own character confirmed all the evils which had been 
introduced into his government.' 

T5y July of the same year, the country was to all appearance Mahfu« Khfin 
tranquil, and the two leaders separated — Muhammad Yusuf going- 
to Tinnevelly town and Mahfuz Khan to Madura. As soon as the 
latter had arrived 'at that place, his cavalry (2.000 picked men) * 

surrounded liis house, headed by the governor of the town, and 
declared that they would not move until they were given their 
arrears of pay — some seven lakhs of rupees. At the same time 
three companies of Madras sepoys who were in Madura were dis- 
armed and turned out ; and the brother of the Muliammad Barki 
already mentioned above entered the fort with 2,000 Kalians 
whom he had collected in the Nattam country. Tlie standard of 
revolt was then openly raised and invitations were issued to all tlie 
poligars to assist in re-establishing tlie government of Mahfuz 

These steps were doubtless taken with the knowledge and 
approval of Mahfuz Khdn and were inspired by the fact that in 
July the Company had farmed out the Tinnevelly country for 
eleven lakhs of rupees to a certain Mudali, tliis man being granted 
plenary civil and criminal jorif-diction within it and being bound 
to maintain not less than 1 ,000 of the Company's sepoys. 

Hearing what had liappened, Muhammad Yusuf marched at Capfain 
once on Madura, and on the lOtli August camped near Tirur>]\^ran- S".^^'!',"'^''^ 
kunram, wjuch was strongly held by tjie rebels. Jlis whole Madura, 
force was only 1,500 sepoys and six field-pieces, so, seeing that it ^'^'* 
would be useless to attempt to storm the place, lie sent for 
instructions to Captain Calliand, who was at Tricliinopoly. Tliat 
officer came over and attempted to negotiate with the rebels, liis 
efforts were vain and a desultory war began whicli ravaged the 
whole district. 

In May 1757 Captain Calliaud made a gallant endeavour to 
carry the Madura fortress by a night surprise, but was repulsed 


64 Madura . 

CHAP. ir. with lo?s. Onno gives the following account of the affair, which 
KsGi.isir is of interest as containiricf a description of fortifications which 
have now utterly disappeared. A reference to tlio map of the 
tosvn in 1757 facing- p. 'ZG') will make tliis clearer, and it will be 
seen that the assault was delivered near where the present 
maternity hospital stands. 

' The inward wall of Madara is 22 feet high, including the parapet, 
which rises six above the rampart : at the distance of every 100 yards 
or less 'for exact symmetry has not been observed) are square towers. 
'J"he fausse-bray is 30 feet broad, above which the outward wall rises 
only five feet, but descending to the bottom of the ditch is II on the 
outside. Midway between every two towers of the inward wall, is a 
similar projection in the outward, with loop-holes whivh command the 
ditch, and flank the intermediate part of the v/all, in which are none : 
but the whole parapet of the inward wall has loop-holes, so liave some 
of its towers, and the rest embrasures for cannon. The spot chosen to 
be attacked was the first tower on the left hand of the western gate- 
way, being the only part "where the fausse-bray was clear of the thick 
thorny bushes, which had not injudiciously been suffered to overrun 
it in every other ; but the garrison, trusting to this defence, had 
entirely neglected the ditch, which, by continual drifts after rain, was 
almost choke 1 up to the level of the plain. The party allotted to the 
attack were 100 Europeans, and 200 sepoys; the rest of the troops 
remained in the watercourse [see the map], ready to support the event. 
Calliaud led the party himself, to whom the method of attack was care- 
fully explained, and strict silence enjoined. The foremost men carried 
the sis shorter ladders intended for the outward wall; the next, the six 
longer, for the inward ; as soon as twenty of the party had got into 
the fausse-bray, it was intended that thej should immediately take 
over the longer ladders, which they were to plant, as received, against 
the tower, but not a man was to mount, until all the six ladders were 
fixed, and then no more than three at a time on each ladder. 

' The first ladders were planted, and Calliaud, with the first 20 men, 
had got ijito the fausse-bray. had taken over one of the longer ladders, 
and had planned it against the tower, when their hopes were inter- 
jupted by one of those accidents which from their tri\iality escape 
the most attentive precaution. A dog, accustomed to get his mfals at 
the messes of some of the soldiers, had accomjianied theoi all the way 
from Secundermally [Tirupparanknnram] into the ditch, and, probably 
from anxiety at not being able to follow his masters into the fausse- 
bray, began to bark; which was soon answered by the barking of 
another dog on the rampart, and the yelps of both awakened the 
nearest centinal, who, crying out " The enemy", roused the guard at 
the gateway, which repaired immediat'-dy to the tower. The soldiers 
in the fausse-bray, finding the alarm taken, instead of continuing to 
get over the rest of the ladders, endeavoured to mount on that already 
planted, but crowded on it 60 many together, that it crushed uuder 




them. This communicated the confusion to those in the ditch, and no CHAP. 11. 
one any longer did what he ought. In tlio meantime, tlie garri.son English 
increasing on the ram]vart hung out Mue liglits of enlnhur, and dis- 
covering the \\hu\o. |>arty began to shower on them, arrows, Btones, 
lances, and the shot of fire-arms. On which Caliiaud ordered the 
retreat, which was elfecteJ with httle loss, only one man being killed, 
and another wounded; both were sepoys, standing on the glacis.' 

In July he made another attempt at the same spot, which was 
again unsuccessful. Orrae describes it as under : — 

' Tho gabions, fascines, and platforms, werepreparcd in the camp ; 
and as soon as all were ready, the troops allotted marched on the 9th 
at night to the watercourse which runs to the west of the city, and 
raised the battery against the curtain between the gateway and the 
tower which had beou attempted bj^ escalade of the 1st of May. It 
mounted two eighteen-po.mders, with four field-pieces, was finished 
before the morning, and at daj'-break began to fire. The parajiet of the 
fausse-bray was soon beaten dov/n, and theiu's^ard wall, although 
strong, was by noon shaken so much, that the parapet of this likewise 
fell entirely, and the wall itself was sufficiently shattered, to permit a 
a man to clamber to the top : but, in this short time, the garrison had 
staked the rampart behind with tho trunks of Palmeira trees set on 
end : a few shot knocked down some, nor could any of them have been 
firmly fixeJ^ and to leave the enemy no more time to prepare farther 
defences, Caliiaud resolved to storm immediately. Of the Europeans, 
only the artiilery-men were left at the battery : all the battalion-men, 
who were 120, marched, followed by the Company of Coffrecs and 
they by -100 sepoys. Caliiaud led the Europeans, and ^Mahomed 
Issoof the sepoys. The garrison had disciplined 300 of their match- 
lockmen as sepoys ; who, although much inferior to these troops, were 
improved far beyond their former state; these were posted on the 
western gateway, which projecting beyond the fausie-bray into the 
ditch, flanked the tower attacked ; and a multitude were crowded on 
the ramparts behind and on each side of the breach. The troops, 
although galled, advanced resolutely through the ditch and fausse- 
bray, and four of the most active scrambled up the breach to the 
rampart, but w^ere immediately tumbled down dead, or mortally 
wounded. This repressed the ardour of those who were following : 
an officer threw out imprudent words, and the infirmity visibly caught 
the whole line, notwithstanding tlie exhortations and activity of 
Caliiaud, who was in the fausse-bray directing the assault. Whoso- 
ever mounted afterwards came down without getting to tho top, 
pretending the impossibility, although the danger was as great in the 
fausse-bray below; for, besides the shower of other annoyances, 
the enemy had prepared bags and pipkins filled with mere powder, 
to which they set fire as they tossed them down on the heads of 
the assailants, and the scorch of the explosion was inevitable and 
intolerable. Nevertheless, Caliiaud continued the assault half au 







Yusuf Khin 



He rebels and 
is hanged, 

hour; when finding that no command wa.s any longer obeyed, and that 
niudi loss had been sustained, he ordered the retreat. Four of the 
bravest Serjeants were killed, and as many wounded, and 20 other 
Euro2ioans wore either killed or desperato'y wounded ; of the Cof^'rccs 
10, of the sepoys 100 were disabled, but few of this body were killed, 
and fewer died afterwards of their wounds.' 

Eventually the place was given up to Captain Calliaud on his 
paying the rebels Rs. 1,70,000. 

The results were small. Disturbances still prevailed every- 
where ; the Kalians ravaged the country in every direction ; the 
great Haidar Ali, the soldier of fortune who was soon to usurp 
the throne of Mysore, invaded the country round Madura and 
was with difficulty beaten off ; and no revenue worth mentioning 
could be collected. The Company tried in vain to induce the 
Nawab of Arcot to recall his brother, Malifuz Khan, who was 
undoubtedly the cavise of all the trouble, and soon afterwards 
their needs elsewhere compelled them to withdraw Muhammad 

His departure was the signal for wilder anarchy than ever. 
The Company's garrison in Madura could only just collect, from 
the country directly under its walls, enough revenue to support 
themselves; on the north the Kalians, and on the west the 
poligars, ravaged unchecked ; and in the south Mahfuz Khan had 
thrown himself into the arms of the principal poligars and was 
beyond the reach of argument or reason. 

The Company accordingly sent back Muhammad Yusuf to the 
country, renting both Madura and Tinnevelly to him for the very 
moderate sum of five lakhs annually. He returned in the spring 
of 17'j9 and began by teaching the Kalians a wholesome lesson. 
Cutting avenues through their woods, he shot them down without 
mercy as they fled, or executed as malefactors any who were 
taken prisoners. He went on to reduce the rest of the country 
to order, and soon had sobered all the poligars and made himself 
extremely powerful. He even had the audacity to make war on 
the king of Travancore without the knowledge or consent of the 
Company. In 1761, and again in 1762, he offered to lease Tinne- 
velly and Madura for four years more at seven lakhs per annum. 
His offer was refused, and — whether he was enraged at this, oi 
whether he thought himself powerful enough to defy his masters — 
he shortly afterwards threw off his allegiance and began to 
collect troops. 

In 1763, therefore, a strong force was sent against him and 
he was besieged in Madura in September. His friends nearly 
all deserted him, but he held out until October 1764 with great 


energy and skill, renovating- and strengthening the fort at great CIIAI'. ir. 
expense — he is said to have ' entirely repaired ' its east face and ENiii.isu 
constantly employed 8,000 labourers about it — and repelling the Pekiod. 
chief assault with a loss of 120 Europeans (including nine oflBcers) 
killed and wounded. At tlie end of tliat time little real progress 
against him liad been made, except that the place was now 
rigorously blockaded, but he was treacherously seized by one 
Marchaud, the officer in charge of the French contingent, and 
handed over to Major Charles Campbell, who commanded the 
English among the besiegers.^ Ife was ignominiously hanged 
near the camp, about two miles to the west of Madura, and his 
body was buried at the spot. A small square mosque was after- 
wards erected over his tomb. It is still in existence — to the left 
of the road toDindiLnil, a little be} ond the toll-gate — and is known 
as ' Khdn ^■^■dhih' s pillmtscd.' 

Tradition lias many stories to tell oF this remarkable man, iiischaiacVr. 
who is commonly known in Madura as Kluinsa, an abbreviation 
for Xhcin Saliib. lie was born in the Ramnad country and was 
originally a Hindu of the Vellala caste. He ran away from his 
home, took service under a European for three years in Pondi- 
cherry, was dismissed, served under anotlier European (who 
educated him) , went to the Nawab's court, rose rapidly in the 
army, married a Parangi woman and eventually, as lias been seen, 
became Commandant of all the Company's sepoys. His executive 
ability is sufficiently indicated in the report (see below) from 
Colonel Fullarton — dated March, 1785 and entitled ' A view of 
the English interests in India' — which was republished in 
Madras in 18G7. This says that in Tinnevelly and Madura 
* his whole administration denoted vigour and effect. His justice 
was unquestioned, his word unalterable; his measures were 
happily combined and firmly executed, the guilty had no refuge 
from punishment.' It concludes by saying that his example 
shows that ' wisdom, vigour and integrity are of no climate or 

After Muhammad Yusuf's death, the revenue administration Tfaidar Ali'a 
of Madura was entrusted to one Abiral Kluin Saliib, who con- '1^!^'°"'- 
duoted it uneventfully for some six years. He had no military 
power, and the country was commanded by British officers. The 
terms of office of his numerous successors were equally devoid of 

' Vibart's History of Madras En jiiif ers {W. 11. AWi^u, ISSl), S'.K This work 
gives a detailed account of the operutions. Caldwell {History of Tinnevelly, 12;^) 
seems to giro incorrectly the natnes of both tho Frencli and Knglish commani- 
ing officers. 


CHAP. II. episode, and it was not nntil 1780 tliat any cliange of note 

English occurred. In that year Haidar Ali (wlio had by now made hini- 

ff;^"' self king- of Mysore) perpetrated his famous invasion of the 

Carnatic — pillaging, burning and slaying until the country was 

one blackened waste. 

Assignment Ij^ the next year the Nawab Muhammad Ali^ assigned to the 

of the revenue Company 1 the revenues of the Carnatic to defray the cost of the 

panj, 1781. war with Haidar Ali, and a ' Committee of Assigned Eevenue,' 

consisting of six officials, was appointed to administer them. 

Under this body, in each of the districts concerned, was a 

' Receiver of Assigned Kevenue.' The first so sent to Madura — 

virtually its first Collector — was Mr. George Proctor. His 

administration vfas not successful, and he was (apparently) 

followed in 1783 by Mr. Eyles Irwin.' 

Colonel ^ But the country required quieting before it could be success - 

expedition f'^l^^J administered, and in the same year the Colonel Fullarton 

1783, who has already been mentioned was sent into it with a strong 

force. His report above cited affords ample evidence of the 

necessity for this step. It says that — 

' Nearly one hnudred thousand Poligars and Colleries [«>., Kalians] 
were in arms throughout the southern provinces, and, being considered 
hostile to Government, looked to public confusion as their safeguard 
against punishment. Your southern force was inadequate to repress 
these outrages and to retrieve your affairs. The treasury was drained, 
the country depopulated, the revenues exacted by the enemy, the 
troops undisciplined, ill-paid, poorly fed and unsuccessfully com- 
manded. During the course of these proceedings, your southern 
provinces remained in their former confusion. The Poligars, 
Colleries, and other tributaries, ever since the commencement of 
the war [with Haidar Ab] had thrown off all appearance of alle- 
giance. No civil arrangement could be attempted without a military 
force, and nothing less than the whole army seemed adequate to their 
reduction. While such a considerable portion o £ the southern provinces 
remained in defiance of the Company's Government, it was vain to 
think of supporting the current charges of the establishment, far 
less could we hope to reduce the arrears, and to 2:»repare for important 
operations, in the probable event of a recommencement of hostilities. 
It became indispensable, therefore, to restore the tranquillity of those 
provinces by vigorous military measures as tlie only means to 
render them protective of revenue.' 

Colonel Fullarton subdued the poligars of Melur and Siva- 
ganga and then passed southwards ; and liis principal fighting 
was in Tinnevelly. 

^ See Aitcliisou's Trealies, eic. (1892), viii, Si. 
* Eiahry of TinneveUu, 144, 146. 


In Jrine 1785, in consequonce of orders f lom superior authority. cLl \P ] I 
tlie assignment of the revenues was surrendered to the Nawab of English 
Arcot, the Committee of Assigned lievenue was dissolved, and Period. 
the civil administration of tlio Company, u'ith all its numerous 
advantages, ceased for seven years. 

In August 171 the Madras Government, finding it impossible Assumrtion 
to induce tlie Nawab either to contribute his share of the expenses °^ ^^^ 
of the alliance with tlie Company or to re-introduce the assign- 1790. ' 
ment of the revenues, took possession of the country by procla- 
mation, without treaty. A Board of Assumed Ecvenue, M-hich 
was a department of the Board of Revenue established in 178G, 
was constituted to administer the territories, and Collectors were 
appointed to the vaiious districts. Mr. Alexander I^IcLeod was 
sent down in 1790 as Collector of Dindigul. 

In July 1792 the Nawab and the Company entered into a new tIio Corn- 
treaty ' by wliich the latter undertook to collect at their own V^^i' collocia 
expense and risk the whole of the pesh leash, or tribute, due from kash 1792. 
the poligars and with the exception of a few districts — among 
which were Madura proper and Tinnevelly, which were to remain 
in the Company's hands till the revenue equalled the arrears 
which had accrued — the rest of the country was to be restored to 
the management of the Nawab on certain conditions. 

In the same } ear (1792) the province of Dindigul came formally Story of the 
into the possession of the Company. The fate of this area had ^>°^^g"l 
differed for some years from that of the rest of the Madura 
country. It has been seen above (p. '!8) that when Chanda 
Sahib seized the latter, he placed one of his bi'others in command 
of Dindigul. About 1742, Birld Venkata Eao, the officer in 
command of the forces in the adjoining territories of Mysore, 
invaded the province. The commandant of the Dindigul fort, 
Mir Imam Ulla, handed it over to him without resistance, and 
the king of Mysore appointed Birki V^enkata Eao as manager 
of tjie newly acquired province. It contained a number of 
palaiyams, or feudal estates, and its history for the next few years 
consists largely of the alternate resumption and restoration of 
these, and of changes in its managers. In 1748 Madur, one of 
the palaiyams, was sequestrated for arrears ; and Venlcata Eao 
was recalled and followed l.iy one Venkatappa. He in liis turn 
was succeeded in 1751 Ijy one Namagiri lui ja ; but in tlie same 
year Vcnkata[>pa w^as restored and given charge of the palaiyams, 
while Srinivasa Eao (son of Birki Venkata Eao) was given 
control of the Government land. In 1755 Venkatap}ia reported 

' For lliy text of it, sec Aiu-liisun'* Trfiaii^it, «tc. (lyi^2), Tiii, 17. 


I!b MADU lU. 

CHAP, II. that the poiigars were very contumacious, and Haidar Ali aceord- 
Englisii ingly made a memorable incursion into the country and brought 
these chiefs to their knees one after the other with extraordinary 
rapidity, although lie had only 1,700 men against the 30,000 
whom they might, if they had united, have put into the field to 
meet him. When he entered the country, only two of the 
poligars' estates were under resumption ; namely, l\Iadur and 
Vadakarai ; by the time he left it he had resumed all the others 
except five ; namely, Ammayanayakkanur, Idaiyankottai, Kombai 
Nilakkottai and Mambarai. 

Srinivasa Eao was now removed for incompetence, and 

^ . Venkatappa appointed to the charge 

Emakkaiapuram. of both the estates and the Govern- 

Erasakkanayakkanur. ment land. He was shortly afterwards 

Gantamanayakkan6r. succeeded by one Surya Narayana 

^ ""^ ^' . Mudali, who for some reason restored 

six * of the disj^ossessed poligars. 

In 1772 the country was granted to Mir Sahib, husband of 

Haidar's wife's sister and a well-remembered individual, ou 

military tenure. In 1773 and 1774 he resumed seven t of the 

palaiyams and restored two more 
+ Ambaturai. ^ (Tevaram and Sandaiyiir M to their 

Ei-asakkaTmyakkannr. ^ t at ttcq j • xi 

Gantamanayakkaimr. owners. In May 17bc!, durmg the 

Kombai. First Mysore War, Dindigul surren- 

Maruu^ttu. dered to the division under Colonel 

la o ai. Lang and all the dispossessed poligars 

Tavasimadai. *=" -A • 

were reinstated. But the province 

was restored in the next year by the treaty of Mangalore ' to Tipu 

Sultan, Haidar All's son and successor, and he granted it to Saiyad 

Sahib, who is said to have been a nephew of Mir Sahib, on much 

the same terms as those the latter had enjoyed. In 1785 and 

1786 Saiyad Sahib resumed five t of the palaiyams, and in 1788 

Tipu himself came to Dindigul and 

X Eriyodn. sequestrated fourteen others for arrears, 

^^*^^^'- leaving only three of them (Idaiyan- 

„'^ ^^'. . kottai, Kombai and Mambarai) not 

Sandaiyur. ^ p , 

Sakkampatti. under attachment. Ihese fourteen 

were taken away from the Dindigul 

country and attached to the province of Sankaridrug in Salem. 

In 1790 Sandaiyur was given back to its owner. 

1 In the present Nilakkottai taluk ; not the existing zauiindaii of tbc same 
name in Tirumaugalam. 

* Aitoliisou's Trmties, stc, viii, 4^o. 


In August 1790, during the Second Mysore "War against Tipu, CHAP. IT. 
Colonp] .Tames Stuart took the Diiidigul fort and dislrict in the Exgluh 
manner doscriltod on ]). 257 helow, and all t]ie dispossessed 1'^•RI0D. 
poligars wore onee more restored to tlioir estates. In 1792, Itscossirn 
by the treaty w]iio]i concluded that war.' tlio province was ced^d '" ^'^^^' 
to the Company, Tlie disturLances in it wliich the various 
poligars' raised in the years immediately following are referred to 
in Chapter XI helow. 

The rest of Madura came finally into the hands of tlie Eno-Hsh CcBsion of 
in 1801, under the following circumstances : When, in 1790 tjie ^^^ '^^''^ °^ 
Third Mysore War ended with the fall of Seringapatam and the I80l!^'^' 
death of Tipu Sultan^ papers found in the fallen city showed that 
tlie tlien Nawah of Arcot and his fatlier (the Muhammad Ali 
already several times mentioned above) had been engaged in 
treasonable correspondence with Tipu. An enquiry was held, but 
while it was progressing the Nawab died. His heir declined to 
give the security w^iich in the circumstances the Government con- 
sidered necessary, and the Naw^abship was consequently conferred 
on a junior member of the family, with whom in 1801 ^ an agree- 
ment was concluded by which he handed over to the Company in 
perpetuity ' the sole and exclusive administration of the civil and 
military governments of all the territories and dependencies of the 

Madura thus passed, with the rest of the Carnatic, under tlie 
British, and tasted for the first time for very many years the 
blessings of settled peace. 

' Aitchison's Treaties, etc., viii, 400. 
' Ibia., 56. 







Density of 
the popula- 

Its growth. 

Gen'Kral Characteristics — Density of the population— Its growth— Parent- 
tongue — Education— Occupations —Eeligiona. The Jaixs. The Christians 
— Eoman Catholic Blis^ion — American Mission — Leipzig Evangelical 
Lutheran Mission. The Musat.mans — Ravntans — Relations with Hindus. 
The Hindus — Villages — Houses — Dress — Food — Amusements — Religious 
life — 'Brahman influence small — Popular deities : Karu^ipan — Aiyan/ir — 
Madurai Viran— Others — Vows — Devils. Principal Castes— Kalians — 
Idaiyans — Valaiyans— Kammalans — Nattnkottai Chettis — Vannans — Kusa- 
vans — Parivarams — Kunnuvans — Pulaiyans-Paliyans — Tottiyaus — Kappili- 
yans — Annppans — Patnulkarans. 

The district is not thickly peopled. Except in the head-quarter 
taluk, where the population of Madura town raises the figure, the 
density of the inhabitants is nowhere as much as 400 to the square 
mile. Details will "be found in the separate Appendix to this 
volume. Excluding Madura again, the density is highest in Palni 
taluk, and l)indigul comes next. It is lowest in Periyakulam, 
but the apparent sparseness of the population in that talak is 
largely due to the existence within it of large areas of uninhabitable 
hill and jungle. Where the land is culturable, the density is 
probably well up to the average. 

In the district as a whole, the increase in the population in the 
thirty years ending with 1901 was 29 per cent,, that is, consider- 
ably more than the averages for the southern districts (21 "2 per 
cent.) or the Presidency generally (22' 1 per cent.). In the decade 
1871-81, owing to the great famine of 1876-78, a decline of 
5 per cent, occurred ; in the next ten years the rebound usual after 
scarcity took place and the advance was as much as 22 per cent. ; 
while in the period 1891-1901 the growth was 11 per cent., or 
again considerably more than the Presidency average (7 "2 per 
cent.). It would have been larger but for 'the emigration which 
took place to Ceylon. Statistics show that in tliis decade the net 
result of emigration to, and immigration from, that island was a 
loss to the district of nearly 80,000 persons On the other hand, 
the balance of the movement of the population between Madura 
and the other districts'in the Presidency is slightly in its favour, a 
certain amount of immigration having taken place to the land 
newly brought under wet cultivation with the water of the Periyar 
irrigation project. 


Tlie increase in tlio decade 1891-1001 was highest (21-G per CHAP. IIT. 
cent.) in Periyalculam taliilc, wliicli lias benefited considerably from Ginkrat. 
the Periyar water and the opening;- up to the cultivation of toa and istics 

coffee of the Kannan Devan hills in Travancore to the west of it. 

It was next highest in Madura and in Palni and Dindigul. The 
advance was smallest in Meliir and Tirumangalam. The former 
of these two taluks will prohably do better in f ature, as soon as 
the effect of the Periyar water begins to be felt in earnest ; but 
Tirumangalam has hardly any irrigation tanks or channels and but 
few wells, is more at the mercy of adverse seasons than any other 
part of the district, and is not likely to exhibit any marked 
advance. The population there has increased by only 10 per cent, 
in the last 30 years, against 47 per cent, in Perijakulam and 33 
per cent, in both Madura and Dindigul. 

The parent-tongue of four-fifths of the people is Tamil. The Parent. 
language is spoken with less purity than in Tanjore, but without ^^^S^^- 
that frequent admixture of foreig:n words which is met with in 
Chingleput and North Arcot. The Madura people pronounce it 
with a peculiar jerkiness and a nasal twang which makes it difficult 
for a man from farther north to understand them. They also 
have a curious trick of inverting consonants, saying, for example, 
huridai for kudirai, Marudai for Madurai, and so on. Fourteen 
per cent, of the Madura people speak Telugu, and this language 
is the home-speech of at least a fifth of the population of four 
taluks — Dindigul, Kodaikanal, Palpi and Periyakulam. These 
areas are largely peopled by the descendants of the followers of 
the poligar chiefs who migrated to Madura from the Deccan, in 
the train of the armies from Vijayanagar which overran the 
country in the sixteenth century in the circumstances set out in 
the last chapter. 

As many as four per cent, of the people speak Canarese. 
These are chiefly the weaver communities called Sedans and 
Seniyans and the cattle-breeding and shepherd castes of the 
Anuppans, Kappiliyans and Kurubas, all of whom are commonest 
in the west of the district. No tradition seems to survive regard- 
ing the inducements which led these people to immigrate hither 
from their own distant country, but since authenticated instances 
are on record of rulers of other parts having, by offers of special 
privileges, persuaded bodies of artisans and craftsmen to come 
and settle in their dominions, it is perhaps legitimate to conjecture 
that the Nayakkan dynasty, finding among the Tamils neither 
weavers nor herdsmen of talent, induced bodies of these people to 
come and settle under their protection. 









The jAiKg, 

Fifteen in every thousand of tlie population (a liig'Taer 
proportion t]ian in any other district) speak Patnuli or Khatri, a 
dialect of Gujarati. T]iese are the Patnulkaran silk-weavers, 
referred to later on in this ehajjtcr, who are so numei-ous in 
Madura and Dindig-ul towns. 

The education of the people is dealt with more particularly in 
Chapter X below, from which it will be seen that in this matter 
they are rather below the average of the southern districts as 
a whole. The inhabitants of Madura and Periyakulam taluks 
are the most advanced and tliose of TiruDiangalam the most 

The means of subsistence of the population are discussed in 
Chapter VI, where it is sliown that the proportion of them who 
live by agriculture and the tending of flocks and herds is even 
higher than usual. 

By religion, 9<1 in every hundred of the inhabitants are Hindus, 
four are Musalmans and three are Christians. 

At the census of 1901, not a single Jain was found in the 
whole of the district, but ample evidence exists to show that in 
days gone by the followers of this faith were an influential 
community in Madura. Legends preserved in the slhala purdna 
of the great temple at Madura say that the town had three narrow 
escapes from destruction by a huge elephant, a vast cow and an 
enormous snake, which were created by the magic arts of the Jains 
and sent against it, but by the grace of Siva were converted into 
the three hills in the neighbourhood now known as the Anaimalai, 
Pasumalai and Nagamalai. These stories, though wildly apocry- 
phal in details, seem clearly to enshrine the fact that the Jains 
were once powerful enough to cause the Saivites considerable 
uneasiuess, if not to place their existence in peril. In the account 
of the village of Tiruvedagam on p. 297 below, is given the 
traditional embroidered version of a contest between the Jains and 
the Saivite saint Tirugnana Sambandhar which also is almost 
certainly an historical fact. Tlie persecutions which the Jains 
underwent are moreover still referred to in local chronicles, and 
it is stated that at one of the festivals connected with the 
Madui-a temple an image representing a Jain impaled on a stak3 
is carried in the procession. Finally the district contains a 
number of sculptures and inscriptions which are certainly of Jain 
origin. References to some of these will be found in the accounts 
in Chapter XV of Anaimalai and Tirupparankunram in Madura 
taluk, Aivarraalai in Palni, Uttamapalaiyam in Periyakulam, and 
56vil^nkulam and Kuppalanattam in Tirumangalara. 



On the little granite hills of the district are often found level, 
rectangular spaces, usually six or sevea feet long and two or three 
feet wide, which have Leen chipped out on the surface of some 
flat piece of rock- Thoj look as though the granite had Leen 
smoothed to make a sleeping-place, and some of them have a kind 
of rock pillow at one end, two or three inches higher than the rest 
of the excavation. The ryots call them Panc/ia Pdnckva paduJikat, 
or ' beds of the five Pcindavas.' They are sometimes found close 
to images of undouLted Jain origin cut on the rocks, and they 
perhaps mark the sites of tlie dwellings of Jain hermits. 

The Christians in Madura numbered at the last census nearly 
three per cent, of its inhabitants, a figure somewhat below the 
average for the southern districts as a whole. Relatively to the 
total population they were most numerous in the taluks of 
Dindigul (7 per cent.), Kodaikanal (5'8), Periyakulam (2*4) and 
Madura (2'1) and least so in Tirumangalam ('7 per cent.), Melur 
(•7) and Palni ("G). Nearly the whole of them, as usual, were 
natives. An overwhelming proportion belonged to the Koman 
Catholic Church ; next in numbers came the nonconformist 
adherents of the American Mission ; and a few were followers of 
the Lutheran sect. 

The Roman Catholic Mission is by far the oldest in the district, 
and dates from as long back as the beginning of the seventeenth 
century. Considerations of space prohibit the inclusion here of 
any detailed account of its doings, but the letters of its priests 
to their ecclesiastical superiors, which have been collected and 
published in French in four volumes under the title of La Mission 
du Madwe, depict in a most vivid fashion their struggles and 
achievements and, incidentally, the p^olitical and social conditions 
of the country at the time. 

The earliest missionary to visit Madura was a Portuguese 
named Father Fernandez, and his congregation consisted largely 
of Paravas (fishermen) whose forefathers had been converted by 
Francis Xavier. The first Jesuit was Robert d<d' Nobili, an Italian 
of good birth (related to two popes and a caidinal, and the nephew 
of auother cardinal), who began work in 160G under the control 
of the Archbishop of Cranganore. Knowing that Fernandez 
was hopelessly handicapped by the fact that he was one of the 
detested ' Parangis ' (^Portuguese") — a race whicli was known to all 
natives to eat beef and consort witli the lowest of Purai) ans — de' 
Nobili (with tlie concurrence of his superiors) ussumed a native 
name {Tatva Bodagar, ' the teacher of philosopliy ') presented 
himself as a sanydai from Rome, and adopted the characteristic 
dress and meagre diet of the ascetic class. 

The Jains. 









His fame soon spread abroad, and tliose wlioni he admitted to 
an interview (lie discouraged visitors at first) wore charmed with 
his polished manners, astonished at the purity of his Tamil and 
captivated by his oriental learning and versatile intellect. Later, 
he built a church and presbytery and took to the active preaching 
of the Gospel, and at the beginning scores of persons, including 
members of all the upper classes, were converted with marvellous 
rapidity. But the Hindu gurus and priests soon succeeded in 
stemming the tide, and persecutions followed. Moreover Father 
Fernandez complained to the authorities of his methods — and 
especially of his practice of permitting his converts to retain 
Hindu customs, such as the wearing of the kudumi (top-knot) and 
the thread, and the use of sandal-paste on their foreheads — and in 
1G13 he v.-as censured and eventually recalled to Groa. It was not 
until ten years later that the controversy which thus arose was 
decided in a manner which permitted him to resume his work on 
the old methods. 

In Madura itself he seems never again to have been as 
successful as he was at the beginning. In 1623 he set out on a 
long journey through the Salem district and to Trichinopoly, 
where the converts w^ere chiefly of low castes, and much of his 
energy was thereafter devoted to the work in this latter town. 
Persecution, hardship and insults were his daily lot there, and he 
was even imprisoned. In 1648, after 42 years of labour, he left 
Madura, utterly broken in constitution and all but blind, and not 
long afterwards he died at Mylapore. 

Two other famous men who belonged to the ' Madura Mission ' 
which he thus started were de Britto and Beschi. The former 
was martyred in the most revolting manner in the Eamnad 
country in 1693. The latter, who was famous for his Tamil 
poems, which rival those of the best native authors, died in 1746. 
Thereafter the Jesuit Mission appears to have languished, and 
in 1773 it was entirely suppressed by the Pope. In the years 
which followed much of its work was undone, converts relapsing 
to Hinduism. The authorities at Pome accordingly appealed to 
the Society of Foreign Missions, which iu 1783 had succeeded the 
Jesuits in tlie ' Carnatic (or Pondicherry) Mission,' and in 1795 
Monsignor Champenois, Vicar Apostolic of that body, visited the 
Madura Chri^stians.^ But difficulties occurred with the priests 
of the Goanese church, and it was not until 1830 that the then 
Yicac Apostolic was able to send into the country a first 

' For the account of the fortunes of the mission after 1773, I am indebted to 
the courtesy of the Key. J. Pages, s..i., now in charge at Madura. 


detacliment of tliree missionaries, Fathers Meliay, James and cllAr. ill. 
Mousset. In July 1836 Pope Gregory XVI created the Vicariate Tiik 
Apostolic of the Coromandel Coast, which included the Madura <^"»^^tiaxs. 
country, and in December of tlie same year the Madura Mission 
was detached therefrom and formed into a separate organization 
under the Jesuits. 

Four missionaries from the Society of Jesus reached Madura ' 
in 1838. In 1842 one of them, Father Gamier, built the church 
there near Tirumala Nayakkan's palace. He died in the town 
the next year. 

In 1838, the year these four arrived, Pope Gregory XVI, by 
his Bull Multa prceclare, had put an end to the jurisdiction of the 
Archbishop of Goa over the mission, but many of the Christians 
refused to accept the new state of things. Up to 1847, the mission 
was permitted to remain under the jurisdiction of Pondicherry, 
but in that year its first Vicar Apostolic, Bishop A. Canoz, was 
appointed. In 1857 a Concordat was signed between Home and 
Portugal whereby the Archbishop of Goa was granted authority 
over the Goanese Christians in the mission's field, and thence 
arose a double jurisdiction within it. This continued until 1886 
when, by another Concordat, the difficulty was ended by the 
re-establishment of the Bishopric of Mylapore and the grant to it 
of that part of the Madara Vicariate Apostolic which lay within 
the Tanjore district. By a subsequent agreement tlie cliurch of 
Our Lady of Dolours at Dindigul (built in 1729) and of Our Lady 
of the Eosary facing the Perumal Teppakulam at Madura (erected 
]770) were left in the hands of the authorities of Goa, who still 
possess a few adherents in the district. In this same year 1886, 
by the Bull Humance Salutis, Pope Leo XIII established the 
Catholic hierarchy in India and the Madura Vicariate Apostolic 
was formed into the Bishopric of Trichinopoly, under the juris- 
diction of which its missions are at present conducted. 

Tlie largest Eoman Catholic congregations are now those in 
Madura and Dindigul, but there are 36 churches in other places 
in the district, the mission employs sixteen European priests, 
keeps up orphanages for boys and for girls at Madura, and is 
about to establish a nunnery of Europeans in tliat town to take 
charge of its girls' schools and dispensaries. Its funds arc 
received principally from France, 

Tlie American Madura Mission was established in 1834 as an American 
off-shoot of the Jaffna Mission in Ceylon.^ The first workers to **iss'°'' 

^ Fur the materials lor tho uccount which follows, I urn indobied lo the 
ller. J. S. Chandler of the American Mission, 





arrive in Madura were Mr. and Mrs. Todd and Mr. Hoisington. 
Stations were subsequently established in Dindigul (1835), 
Tirumang-alam (1838), Pasumalai (1845), Periyakulam (1848), 
Vattilagundu (1857), Melur (1857) and Palni (1862). Tlie East 
Gate Church at Madura was begun on part of the glacis of the old 
fort (see p. 266) in 1843 and finished in 1845. 

For several years the policy of the mission was to endeavour 
to introduce a knowledge of Christianity among the people by 
means of free schools for native boys, with Hindus as teachers, 
and boarding-schools with Christian teachers, and its educational 
institutions were a very prominent part of its work. In 1847, 
however, great defections were caused by efforts to abolish caste 
distinctions among the converts, and in 1855 the visit to Madura 
of a deputation of two members of the American Board resulted 
in a considerable reversal of the original policy. English education 
was abandoned, changes were made in the seminary which had 
been established at Pasumalai (p. 176), the large English school at 
Madura was closed, and nearly all the boarding-schools except 
that for girls at Madura were abolished. 

Gradually, however, it was realised that this change had 
not been for the better^ and little by little the schools were re- 
established. The more important of those which the mission now 
maintains are referred to below in Chapter X. 

Another noticeable feature in the policy of the mission has 
been the combination of medical aid to the natives with its 
evangelistic work, several of its members being trained medical 
men. The leader of this branch of its operations was the late 
Eev. E. Chester, for many years resident in Dindigul. The first 
lady physician, Miss Root, m.d.j arrived in 1885 and her 
efforts eventually resulted in the erection of the mission hospital 
for women in Madura. This and the other medical institutions 
kept up by the mission are referred to in Chapter IX below. The 
share which the mission took in the foundation of the sanitarium 
of Kodaikanal on the Palni Hills is mentioned in the account of 
that place on p. 250. 

Its members now include twelve ordained Europeans and a 
number of missionary ladies, and it possesses 27 churches. Among 
the best-remembered of its ministers are the Rev. W. Tracy, 
D.D., for 25 years in charge of the Pasumalai seminary (whose 
son, the Eev. J. E. Tracy, is still with the mission) and the Rev. 
J. E. Chandler, whose son is also still working at Madura. The 
expenditure of the mission is some Rs. 80,000 annually, almost 
all of which comes from America. 







The Liitlieran cliureli first began work in the district in tlie 
second lialf of tlie eighteenth century, in the time of tlie flourisli- 
ing Danish Lutheran Missions at Tranqnehar anrl Tanjore. 
Catechists wore sent to Dindigiil and otlier places and succeeded 
in establishing congregations. The care of all tliese was eventu- 
ally, however, transferred to tlie Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel and nothing more was done for many years. 

It was not until 1875 that the Leipzig Lutheran Mission began 
its work in the district. In that year it sent its first European 
missionary to Madura.' In 1882 a second was despatched, and 
since 1889 he has been living at Dindigul. Three years after- 
wards another was sent to Madura, but in 1903 he was transferred 
to Yirudupatti in the Tinnevelly district. Two missionary ladies 
are now working at Madura. The mission possesses eight 
churches and two more are under construction. It also maintains 
a number of schools, but none of these are above the primary 

The Musalmans in the district number four per cent, of the 
population, a figure about equal to the average of the southern 
districts. They are proportionately most numerous in the Mel6r 
and Palni taluks, and least so in Tirumangalam. 

The very great majority of them belong to the community E^vutans, 
locally known as Ravutans, who are probably the descendants 
either of Hindus of this part of the world who in former times 
were forcibly converted to Islam, or of Musalman fathers by the 
women of this country. They are a pushing and frugal (not to 
say parsimonious) class. Far from following others of their 
co-religionist? in thinking much of the past, less of the present and 
least of the future, they conduct the important trade in leather 
which the district possesses, grow much betel and do a great deal 
of the commerce of the country, both wholesale and retail. They 
seldom marry with the Musalmans of pure descent, although there 
is no religious bar to such alliances, and they often (as in Dindigul 
town) live in separate streets away from them. They speak Tamil, 
and not Hindustani like the Musalmans proper. They also 
observe, at weddings and similar ceremonies, several customs 
which are clearly Hindu in origin, such as the use of music and 
the tying of a tali. 1'he dress and ornaments of both men and 
women strongly resemble those of Hindus, the men being often 
only distinguishable by the tartan patterns of their waist-cloths, 
their beards and their shaven heads, and the w^omen only by tlieir 
having a loose jacket (instead of a tight bodice) and wearing a 

^ The particulars wliicli follow wcro kiudly furnished by the Rev. Tjtl, 
Bloomstraud, in charge of the inisBion's affairs at Madura. 





with Hindus. 

series of small rings on the outer edge of the ear. At deaths, 
they often divide property in accordance with Hindu, and not 
Mnhammadan, law. 

They are grouped into a nuuihcr of sub-divisions which are 
endogamous in character and usually territorial in origin. 
Instances of these ai'e the Puliyankudiyar, the men of PuliyankucU 
in Tinnevelly ; the Elaiyankudiyar, the men of Elaiyankudi in 
Ramnad zamindari ; the Musiriyar, the men of Musiri in Trichi- 
nopoly ; the Vaigakaraiyar, the men of the Yaigai banks ; and 
the Eruttuk^rar, ' buUock-men/ tliose who used to trade with 

The Musalmans live on amicable terms with their Hindu 
neighbours. They are permitted (see p. o07) to go to the great 
Hindu temple of Subrahmanya at Palni to make their offerings 
there, and Hindus flock to the famous tomb of the Musalman 
fakir on the top of the hill at Tiruj^parankunram. The followers 
of the two faiths join in the celebration of the fire-walking 
which in this district very often follows the Mohurrum. 
The Hindus. It remains to refer to the Hindus, the most numerous of the 

religious communities of the district. A few words may be said 
about their social and religious ways, and then some account will 
be given of the castes among them which are found in particular 
strength in this part of the country. 
Villages. The villages of the district are built in the scattered fashion 

common in the south. The three polluting castes, the Pallans, 
Paraiyans and Telugu Cliakkiliyans, always live in separate cheris^ 
or hamlets, outside them. 'The other communities are more 
particular about residing together than is usually the case. Even 
if the Brahman houses number only two or three, they will 
generally be found side by side, and the other castes similarly try 
to collect together, each in their own street. There are usually 
three wells, one for Brdhmans, one for Sudras and Musalmans, 
and the third for the polluting castes. 

Old records show that in the troubled period before the 
Company acquired the country almost every village was fortified 
in some fashion. A mud rampart was the usual defence, and 
where this was beyond the means of the community a strong live 
hedge of thorny plants and trees was planted round the village site 
and provided with a single entrance which was closed at night w^ith 
a strong gate. In many villages the stone posts which formerly 
flanked these gateways may still be seen. They are called 
vddivdsal and when the village deities are worshipped they often 
come in for some share of the oblations and offerings which are 
going. Almost every village has a mandai, or piece of open 


ground, in the middle of it and in this is nearly always a chdvadi, CHAP. III. 

half clul) and half court-house, which is kept up at the common The Hinduu. 

expense and is used as a meeting--place for gossip in the mornings 

and evenings, as a spot in which to loaf away the long days in 

the hot weather when cultivation is at a standstill, or as a court 

for the hearing of disputes or caste questions. In the Mellir 

taluk these chavadis are often intimately connected with the 

worship of Karuppan, the favourite deity of the Kalians. In big 

villages there are often several of them for the use of the different 

castes. If the villagers cannot afford a regular building for a 

chdvadi they will at least put up a masonry platform under some 

shady tree to serve the same purposes. 

The strong corporate feeling which enables these places to be 
built and kept up also exhibits itself in the common {s/imuddz/aoi) 
funds which exist in so many villages. These are formed from 
the proceeds of land and fruit trees held on common patta, or 
from the sum paid for the right to collect a tax imposed by 
common consent on articles of certain classes bought or sold in 
the bazaars. The funds are spent for the common benefit on such 
objects as repairs to drinking-water sources, ceremonies at the 
temples, dramatic performances and so on. In Bcklindyakkanur, 
a school is maintained. Sometimes the members of a particular 
caste in a village organize similar funds by taxing themselves for 
the benefit of their community 'I'he Shandns and the Patntilkarans 
are especially fond of doing this. 

Houses are much the same as elsewhere. AVhere the Kalians Houses. 
are most numerous, the fear of incendiarism induces people to try 
to afford a tiled or terraced roof instead of being content with 
thatch. But as a rule the ryots seem to believe in the poetess 
Auvaiyar's saying ' Build small and prosper greatly,' and outside 
the towns the stranger is struck with the meanness of the average 
type of house. The cattle are always tied up in the houses at 
night. Fear of the Kalians prevents them from beiug left in the 
fields, and they may be seen coming into the villages every even- 
ing in scores, choking every one with the dust they kick up, and 
polluting the village site (instead oE manuring the land) for twelve 
hours out of every twenty-four. Buffaloes are tied up outside the 
houses. Kalians do not care to steal tliem, as they are of little 
value, are very troublesome when a stranger tries to handle them, 
and cannot travel fast or far enough to be out of reach of detection 
by daybreak. 

In the Palni taluk there are fewer Kalians and the ryots are 
much keener farmers than elsewliere in the district, and there the 
cattle are very usually penned in the fields at night. People who 




CHAP. III. have a well generally have a house next it, in addition to tlieir 
Thb Hin dub. ordinary dwelling in the village site, and thus they can stay out 

on their land at night to watch over the cattle penned on it. 
^rean. The dress of the people does not differ greatly from that in 

other southern districts. The prevailing colour of the garrmmts 
of the women of the poorer classes is red. Three becoming items 
in their attire which are less common further north are the heavy 
silver bracelets (iol kdppu) worn just above the elbow ; the fashion 
of tying a bunch of white flowers to the centre of the tali necklet, 
just under the chin ; and the trick of allowing the embroidered 
end of their cloths to hang squarely down behind from their 
waists, like a sort of dress-improver. The lowest classes spend 
more on their dress than is usual in the south — the fine, handsome 
Pallan women of the Palni taluk being conspicuous in this respect. 
The ravikhat, or tight-fitting bodice, is seldom worn by non- 
Brahmans. Indeed the women of the Kalians work in the fields 
with their bodies above the waist quite bare, and in the west of 
Tirumangnlam taluk they never cover theiv breasts at all excej)t 
when going into a town. The Kalians say that an unmarrie(i 
girl of their castu once used her upper cloth to conceal the fact 
that she was with child, and that the garment was accordingly 
tabooed in consequence. The women among the Patuulkarans 
of Madura are taking to tying their cloths in the fashion followed 
by Br^hmans, bunching them up in front and passing one end 
between their legs and tucking it into the waist behind. 

The women of practically alt non-Brahman castes except those 
of Telugu origin practise the fashion of stretching the lobes of their 
ears. The Kalian girls are especially noticeable in this respect, 
their lobes sometimes reaching even to their shoulders. In 
quarrels between women of the lower castes these long ears form 
a favourite object of attack, and ' lf)bo-tearing cases ' figure 
frequently in police records. The boring of the ear is done by 
Kuravan women as early as tlie eighth day after birth, and 
thereafter the stretching is continued by hanging leaden rings 
from the hole. The ear becomes finally the most bejewelled 
part of a woman's person. No account of the various ornaments 
suspended from it by the different castes would be intelligible 
without illustrations. Some description of the prevalent fasliious 
will be found in Mr. TTavell's paper in the Journal of Indian Art, 
V. 32 ff. . 

Tattooing is as common as elsewhere. Kuravan andDomban 
women do it. Roman Catholics frequently have a cross done 
between the eye-brows, on the spot where the sect-mark of the 
Hindu is usually put. 


TLe footl of t.lie mass of the jioople consists of cholam, ragi CHAP. III. 
and cambn, wbicb rank in public estimation in tins order. The Hindus. 
Varag'u and Siimai are considered inferior. Kiee is eaten only by p ^ 
the wealthier classes. Chntneys and vegetables of the usual 
kinds are employed to render more p;ilatabl.) the various pre- 
parations made from these grains. 

The people have fewer amusements than usual. In the di-y Amusements. 
weather, when cultivation is at a standstill and every one has 
plenty of leisure, Dombans, Kuravans and (to a les-:! extent) 
•"allans are invited to the villages to act some of the usual plays, 
but except those professional com})anies no one ge^s up dramatic 
lierformances. Cock-fighting is common, especially on *he Melur 
side, and is practised by many different castes. 

A game which is peculiar to this district and the country immed 
lately to the north of it, and is one of the very few manly sports 
which survive in southern India, is the jallikat or jellicut. The 
word jn/Ukatiu literally means ' tying of ornaments.' On a day 
fixed and advertised by bent of drum at the adjacent weekly markets 
a number of cattle, to the horns of which cloths and handkerchiefs 
have been tied, are loosed one after the other, in quick succession, 
from a large pen or other enclosure amid a furious tom-tomniing 
and loud shouts from the crowd of assembled spectators. The 
animals have first to run the gauntlet down along lane formed of 
country carts, and then gallop off wildly iu every direction ; the 
game consists in endeavouring to capture the cloths tied to their 
horns. To do this requires lleetness of foot and considerable pluck, 
and those who are successful are the heroes of the hour. Cuts and 
bruises are the reward of those who are less skilful , and now and 
again some of the excited cattle charge into the onlookers and send 
a few of them flying. The sport has in consequence been prohi- 
bited on more than one occasion ; but, seeing that no one need run 
any risks unless he chooses, existing official opinion inclines to the 
view that it is a pity to discourage a manly amusement which is 
not really more dangerous than football, steeple chasing or fox- 
Imnting. The keenness of the more virile sections of the com- 
munity (especially tlie Kalians) in this game is extraordinary, and 
in many villages cattle are bred and reared specially for it. The 
best jallikats arc to be seen in the Kalian country in Tiruman- 
galam, and next come those in Melur and Madura taluks. 

The sport can boast a very respectable antiquity. A j^oet of 
the early years of the present era quoted by Mr. Kanakasabhai 
Filial in The Tamils eighteen hundred years ago describes in vivid 
fashion the jallikat practised by tlu^ shepherd caste in those days. 








CHAF. III. The bulls had sharpened horns and the competitors were required 
The Hindus, to actually capture and hold them. Serious wounds were the 
order of the day and the young men who most distinguished them- 
selves were awarded the hands of the fairest of the girls of the 
caste, who watched the game from a kind of elevated grand stand. 
It is said that even nowadays the swain who would win the favour 
of a Kalian maiden must first prove himself worthy of her choice 
by prowess at the jallikat. 

Though Madura town itself is a well-known centre of Brah- 
manism, the district as a whole is as purely Dravidian in religious 
sentiment as any in the south. Brahmans number only 18 in 
every 1 ,000 of the population (or fewer than anywhere in the 
south except Coimbatore, South Arcot and Salem) and their 
influence upon the religious and social life of the community is 
small. The famous Brahmanical temples at Madura, Tirupparan- 
kunram, Palni, Alagarkovil and one or two other places attract 
attention and create the impression that the people must be 
generally devoted to the worship of the orthodox gods, but a closer 
examination shows that there are large areas devoid of any large 
shrine in the honour of these deities and given over to the cult of 
the lesser Dravidian godlings. In Dindigul taluk, for example, 
the Vaishnavite temples at Tadikkombu and Vadamadura are 
almost the only orthodox institutions to be found. 

Saivism is the prevalent form of belief. The rulers of Yijaya- 
nagar were of Vaishnavite sympathies, and the poligars who fol- 
lowed their armies into the district brought their own Vaishnavite 
deities with them and established frequent shrines to them which 
are still in existence. But the Nayakkan kings were catholic- 
minded rulers, and their gifts and additions to the Saivite shrines 
in and around Madura town show how free they were from all 
narrow bigotry. 

One reason why the Brahmans have been unable to impose 
their rites to any large extent upon the people of the district is 
the fact that large sections of the community regard it as in no 
way necessary that their marriages should be performed, or their 
funerals attended, by any kind of professional priest. In the 
accounts of the castes which follow below, it will be seen that the 
tali is frequently tied, not by a priest, but by the bridegroom's 
sister. Where custom requires that a priest should do it, this 
man very usually belongs to the caste himself, and is rather a 
social, than a religious, leader. Thus the Brahmans have not the 
opportunities of impressing their beliefs and rites upon the 
people which are in some districts afforded by the in dispensability 
of their presence at domestic ceremonies. 


The non-Brahmanical deities, as elsewhere, are legion, and CHAF. ill. 
space onl^ permits of a reference to one or two of tliem which arc Thk Hindus. 
especially characteristic of the district. 

Of all of them, Karuppan is the most prominent, lie is essen- popuim- 
tially the god of the Kalians, especially of the Kalians of the il^^ities: 
Meliir side. In those parts his shrine is usually the Kalians' ^* PP^**^' 
chdvndi. Ho is said to liave been brought '■ from the nortli ' and 
worship to hini is done with the face turned in tliat direction. 
One of his most famous shrines is that at Manaparai inthc Trichi- 
nopoly district. Tie delights in the sacrifice of goats "'and sheep. 
His priests are usually Kalians or Kusavans. He has many differ- 
ent names : if his image be large, he will be called Periya (big) 
Karuppan; if small, Chinna Karuppan; if his dwelling is in the 
piece of open ground belonging to the village, he will be known 
as Mandai Karuppan. In the Melur taluk his shrine may usually 
be known by the hundreds of iron chains hung outside it which have 
been presented to the god in performance of vows. The deity is 
said to be fond of bedecking himself witli chains, and these offerings 
are usually suspended from a kind of ' horizontal bar,' made of 
two tall stone uprights supporting a slah of stone placed horizon- 
tally upon the top of them. Ho is also fond jf presents of clubs 
and swords. The curious collection of these weapons at liis shrine 
at the main door of the Alagarkovil is mentioned in the account of 
that temple on p 284 below. Bells are also welcome, and in Tiru- 
mangalam taluk these are often hung in numbers to the trees 
round his abode. On the Palni side, Karuppan's shrine is often 
furnished with little swings for the delectation of tlie god, and with 
terracotta elephants, horses and other animals so that he may be 
able to perambulate the village at night to see that all is well. 

Elsewhere, these images are the sign of a temple to Aiyanar. . • 
The biggest examples of them in the whole district are perhaps 
the brick and mortar erections outside the shrine to that god at 
Madakkulam near Madura. Some account of tliis deity has been 
given in tlie Gazetteer of South Arcot, in which district he is even 
more popular, and the description there is generally applicable to 
Madura and need not be repeated. 

Anotlier god (or demon) who is common to both districts is Maduiai 
Madurai Viran. Curiously enougli, this personage, wliose lustory ^'I'^i"- 
is also given in that Gaztftccr, is held in much less honour in this, 
his own, country than in South Arcot. His little shrine just soutli 
of the eastern entrance to the great temple at Madura is Jield in 
considerable repute and children are often named after him and 
nis famous wife Bommi, but in the villages lie is less known. 



Thf Hindis 



Aiiotlier male deity is Saltan, who is said to reside iu trees. 
Bits of rags are liung" on the branches of his dwelling. Several 
trees covered in this mannej* may be seen by the road through the 
Andipatti pass. 

Tlie other minor deities are all of the other sex. The com- 
monest is Mariamman,!the well-known goddess of sraall-pox. The 
personalities, attributes and likes and dislikes of the others are ill- 
defined. They go by various flattering names, such as Ponnam- 
mal (' golden lady "). Muttammal {' pearl lady ') and so forth, and 
are propitiated at irregular intervals and in varying methods. 
Several of them require buffaloes to be offered up. ^Tho sacrifice of 
these animals at the festival to Yandikaliamma at Attur is referred 
to in the account of that place on p. 230 below, and similar 
rites on a smaller scale are performed at numerous other 
goddess' shrines — those, for example, at Paraipatti in the Kanni- 
vadi zamindari, at Padiyur in Dindigul taluk, at JDindigul itself 
and at tlip two shrines to Alagia-nachiamma in Palni town. The 
Sapta Kannimar, or seven virgins, are common objects of adora- 
tion and their images are very often to be seen in the shrines of 
the other village goddesses. 

Tows to these deities are unusually common, and sometimes 
take unusual forms. In the north of Melur taluk, it is credibly- 
stated, women who are anxious for offspring vow that if they 
attain their wish they will go and have a cocoanut broken on their 
lieads by the pujari of the temple at vSendurai. In many shrines 
hang ex voto cradles and small painted clay babies placed there by 
women who have at length been blessed with children. Silvered' 
voto images of parts of the body which have recovered from disease 
are often presented to the larger temples, such as those at Palni, 
Tirupparankunram and Alagarkovil. The mouth-lock vows which 
are performed at Palni are referred to in the account of that 
])lace on p. 307 below. Alagarkovil is such a favourite place 
for carrying out the first shaving of the heads of children that the 
right to the locks presented to the shrine is annually sold by 
auction ! When cattle or sheep are sick, people vow that if they 
recover they will go and do puja on the top of one or other of 
several little hills which are thought to be very efficacious in such 
cases. Gopinathasvami hill in Kannivadi zamindari is one of 
these, and others are those at Vadipatti in Nilakkottai taluk and 
Settinayakkanpatti near Dindigul. Fire-walking is often per- 
formed at Draupadi shrines. In Palni there is an annual feast 
at the Mariamman temple at which people carry in their bare 
hands, in performance of vows, earthen pots with a bright fire 


blazing inside thera. Thoy are said to escape bnrng by the favour CHAP. m. 
of the goddess, but it is whispered that immunitj is sometimes The Hindis. 
rendered doubly sure by putting- sand or paddy husk at the bottom 
of the pot. 

Devils are unusually numerous. Sometimes they haunt land Devils. 
and render it unlucky, and such fields (pisdsu pidiclicha, ni'lam, as 
the}'' are called) are unsaleable. Generally, however, they take up 
their abode in a woman. Women thus possessed may be seen at 
tlie great temple at Madura every Navaratri, waiting for release. 
There are many professional exorcists, who are often the pujaris 
at the local goddess' shrine. Their methods have a family resem- 
blance. At dead of night they question the evil spirit and ask him 
who he is, w^hy he lias conu^ there and what he wants to induce him 
to go away. He answers through the mouth of the u'oman, who 
works herself up into a frenzy and throws herst-lf about wildly. 
If he will not answer, the woman is whipped with the rattan which 
the exorcist carries, or with a bunch of margosa twigs. W'jien he 
replies, his requests for offerings of certain kinds ai-e complied 
with. When lie is satisfied and agrees to leave, a stone is placed 
on the woman's head and she is let go and dashes off into the 
darkness. The place at which the stone drops to the ground is 
supposed to be the place where the evil spirit is content to remain, 
and to keep him there a lock of the woman's hair is nailed with an 
iron nail (Madura devils, like those of other parts, dislike iron) 
to the nearest tree. 

Short accounts v.ull now be given of certain castes which occur rRi.xnpAL 
in greater strength in this district than in others. These notes will t'Asrrs. 
clearly show how slight is the influence of the Bra'hmans in social 
matters. Neither at weddings nor at funerals is their presence 
usually required. 'I lie various castes employ either priests of tlicic 
own community or none at all. Certain oth^r resemblances run 
through the customs of all these communities. Kntloganious 
subdivisions are usual and exogarnous septs common ; the easte 
organization is generally complete and powerful ; the ceremonies 
performed when a girl artains maturity are elaljorate ; at weddin<J-s 
a bride-price is paid and the tali is tied Ity the bridegroom's 
sister ; and the rule ti:at a man can claim the hand of his paternal 
aunt's daughter in marriage is enforced with a rigour which 
sometimes leads to curious complications. 

The idea underlying tliis last custom appears to be the feeling 
that a woman is bound to i-ej^lace the loss to her fatlior's family 
occasioned by her marrying out of it, by returning one of her 
daughters to that family. The simplest way oi' making th« 



88 ifAsnxA. 

CHAP. III. restoration is to marry her daughter to her "brother's son. But 
Prinxipal if the brother ]ias no son he can still demand that the girl be 
restored to his side of the family and can require that she shall 
marry some other boy belonging thereto. This latter alternative 
is adopted in some castes where the age of the girl is much 
greater than that of the mother's brother's son ; but in others 
custom requires that the latter shall marry her however old she 
may be, and the result is naturally the subversion of all the 
(n-dinary rules of morality. 

Though slightly inferior in numbers to the Velldlans and 
Pallana, the Kalians are quite the most prominent of all the caste.s 
of the district. They number 218,000 and are in greater strength 
in Madura (especially in the MeKir and Tirutcangalam taluks) than 
in any other Collectorate. 

They are the ' fierce Colleries ' of Orme's history and have 
always borne a reputation for independence- —not to say truculenco. 
In the time of the Ndyakkan dynasty of ]\Iaduia they steadily 
refused to pay any tribute ^, arguing always that tlie heavens 
supplied the necessary rain, their own cattle did the ploughing 
and they themselves carried out the rest of the cultivation oper- 
ations, so there was no possible reason why they should be charged 
anything. Their conduct at this period was generally so aggres- 
sive that bodies of troops marching between Trichinopoly and 
Madnra found it advisable to avoid the Melur country and proceed 
by circuitous routes. 

When Vijaya Raghundtha was Setupati of Ramnad (1710-20) 
the Kalians raided his territory and carried off 2,000 head of 
cattle. He forthwith established nine fortresses in their country, 
lulled them into secarity by various promises, and then massacred 
a number of them. They thei-eafter pnid him their respects 
annually, but they continued to flout the authorities at Madura 
until 1772. In 1755 they cut up Colonel Heron's expedition in 
the Nattaui pass (see the account of that affair on p. 289 below) 
and Orme is always referring to their lawlessness. 

When Muhammad Yusuf Khan was in charge of the Madura 
country (17.56-64) he established forts at Melur and V^ellalapatti 
(about midway between Melur and A lagarkovil) to overawe them, 
but be never attempted to collect tribute from them and kept 
them quiet chiefly by fomenting jealousies among their leaders. 
He liowever made one attack against the Nattam Kalians which, 

* This and one or two other passages below aie taken from Mr. Tnrnbnll's 
notice of the caste, dated 1817, which is prefixed to Vol. Ill of Captain Ward's 
Account (1821) of the Survey of Madnra and Dindignh This was printed at the 
Madura CoUeotorate Prftss in 1895, 



says Orme, ' appeared more like one of the g-eneral huntings 
peculiar to Asia, than a military expedition. Avenues were out 
into the forest and the inhabitants shot as they fled.' 

After Yusuf Khan was hanged, as a rebel in 1764 the Melur 
Kalians gave so much trouble that the Company sent against them 
five battalions of sepoys and 1,500 cavalry under (^aptain Rumley. 
The force encamped at Melur and summoned the Kalian headmen 
to attend. But they * would not appear and continued to manifest 
their licentious character and contemptuously slighted the Detach- 
ment.' Captain Rumley accordingly surrounded Velldlapatti and 
called on its leaders to surrender. Instead of obeying, ' the whole 
of the CoUeries persevered and were preparing for hostility, using 
insulting language and brandishing their weapons within the 
hedge that surrounded the village.' Captain Rumley then fired 
the hedge, the village was soon in flames also, and as the people 
ruslied away from the conflagration his troops set upon them and 
slew, it is said, about 3,000 of them. The other villages then 
' submissively made homage ' and formally agreed to pay tribute. 
The Kalians greatly respected the man who had thus brought 
them to their knees and called him * Rumleysvdmi.' Renewed 
instances of contumacy however occurred — ten survey peons, for 
example, being murdered — and Rumley had to put 2,000 more 
Kalians to the sword. The country was then surveyed without 
further opposition. 

The war with Haidar AH in 1781, however, gave the Kalians 
another chance and tliey once more got completely out of hand, 
raiding up to the very walls of Madura and slaying, in an affray 
outside the fortifications, the officer commanding the town, one 
Mallari Rao. In 1784 Captain Oliver arrived at Melur with 
another detachment and collected the arrears of tribute by force. 
A battalion of native infantry continued to be stationed in that 
town for some years thereafter. 

Open rebellion has long since ceased, but the Kalians' invete- 
rate addiction to dacoity and theft (' Kalian ' means ' thief ' in 
Tamil) renders the caste to this day a thorn in the flesh of the 
authorities. A very large proportion of the thefts committed in 
the district are attributable to them. Nor are they ashamed of 
the fact. One of them defended his clan by urging that every 
other class stole — the official by taking bribes, the vakil by fostering 
animosities and so pocketing fees, the merchant by watering the 
arrack and sanding the sugar, and so on and so forth — and that 
the Kalians differed from these only in the directness of their 










Dacoity of travellers at night used to be their favourite pastime, 
and their favourite haunts the various roads leading" out of Madura 
and that from Auimayandyakkanur to I'eriyakulam. The method 
adopted consisted in threatening- the driver of the cart and then 
turning the vehicle into the ditch so that it upset. The unfortu- 
nate travellers were then forced by some of the gang to sit at the 
side of the road with their backs to the cart and their faces to 
the ground wliile their baggage was searched for valuables by the 
remainder. The gangs which frequented these roads have been 
now broken up and the caste has practically quitted road dacoity 
— which was not always profitable and conviction for which meant 
a long sentence— for the simpler, more paying and less risky 
business of stealing oiRcials' office-boxes and ryots' cattle. The 
Kalians have not the courage of such races as the Maravans, and 
prefer an occupation which needs only slinking cunning to one 
which requires dash and boldness. 

Cattle-theft is now the most popular calling among them. 
They are clever at handling animals, and probably the popularity 
of the jallikats already mentioned has its origin in the demands 
of a life which always included much cattle-lifting. The stolen 
animals are driven great distances (as much as 20 or 30 miles) 
on the night of the theft and are then hidden for the day either in 
a friend's house or among hills and jungles. The next night they 
are taken still further and again hidden. Pursuit is by this time 
hopeless, as the owner has no idea even in which direction to 
search. He therefore proceeds to the nearest Kalian go-between 
(these individuals are well-known to every one) and offers him a 
reward if ht will bring back the cattle. This rewai'd is called 
tu/)pu-knlt, or ' payment for clues,' and is very usually as much as 
half the value of the animals stolen. The Kalian undertakes to 
search for the lost bullocks, returns soon and states that he has 
found them, receives his tuppu-kiili, and then tells the owner of 
the property that if he will go to a spot named, which is usually 
in some lonely neighbourhood, he will find his cattle tied up 
there. This information is always correct. If, on the other hand, 
the owner 'reports the theft to the police, no Kalian will help him 
recover his animals, and these are eventually sold in other districts 
or Travancore, or even sent across from Tuticorin to Ceylon. 
Consequently hardly any cattle-thefts are ever reported to the 

The Kallaii is also an adept at the more ordinary forms of 
house-breaking and theft. In pursuit of this calling he travels 
great distances, even as far as Chingleput and Mysore. He does 


not take Lis womenkmd with Lim on these expeditions, but is CHAP. III. 
usually accompanied by a JCaaimdlan (goldsmith) to melt down J'rincipal 
and sell the loot. C^'- 

In the month of Adi (July-Aogust) it is the custom for the 
Kalians' married daughters (especially newly-wedded girls) to 
go with their husbands to stay a few days with their parents. 
The extra expenses thus incurred by the latter"* 
necessitate extra efforts in the way of theft, and the Kalians 
playfully call the-e the Adi-vettai or ' Adi hunting.' 

Another important source of income to the Kalian is the kudi- 
kdval fees which he levies on other castes. To almost every village 
or group of villages the Kalians have appointed a kdvalgdr, or 
watchman, who is remunerated by the villagers in various ways, 
sucli as by fees on each plou;^h, proportions of the crop at harvest 
and so on. In big villages and towns fees of this kind are also 
paid by each householder of importance, whether he owns land or 
not. In Madura town, for example, fees are paid to the Kalians 
of the adjacent village of Kilkudi. In return for these emolu- 
ments the Kalians undertake to protect the village or person from 
thefts by their fellow castemen and to get back any property 
which may be stolen. In some cases they have even executed a 
written agreement to do this, and suits have actually been filed 
for non-performance of the contract ! 

The fees thus demanded are undisguised blackmail. If any 
one hesitates or refuses to pay them, lie is warned by ihe Kalian 
that he must take th-- consequences and in due course finds his 
standing crops taken from his field, his straw-stack or his house 
on fire, or his best pair of bullocks missing. The terrorism thu.s 
organised is also used wlien necessary to obtain meals gratis or to 
induce jurors and witne^^ses to help to acquit an accused Kalian. 

This state of things has naturally attracted the attention of 
the authorities and many and various methods of suppressing it 
have been suggested. It was at one time hoped tliat the 
reorganization of the village establishments would give a death- 
blow to the .system by providing in each village a paid'watchman 
who might be substituted for the Kalian kdvaJgdr. It has since 
been suggested, among other remedies, that Uovernment should 
recognise and projierly organize the system ; sliould provide the 
Kalians with an honest livelihood by presenting them with land ; 
should enlist them in Kalian regiments ; fine them all when 
crime occurred in their neighbourhood; send them all to school ; 
register a,ll cattle and all Kalians and prevent either from niovmg 



CHAP. III. out of their villages without passports ; bind over the chief men 
Principal of tho caste to be of good behaviour ; hold midnight roll-calls at 
unexpected intervals in their villages to see who was away ; and 
treat the whole caste under the Criminal Tribes Act. 

In 1896 the r}ots of Dindigul took the case into their own 
hands and struck against the Kalians' exactions. The wide-spread 
movement which followed was known as the ' anti-Kallar agita- 
tion.' It actually originated in the anger of certain of the 
Idaiyans with a Kalian Lothario who enticed away a woman of 
their caste and afterwards her daughter, and kept both women 
simultaneously under his protection. But it soon grew into a 
movement the avowed object of which was to drive the Kalians 
out of the Dindigul taluk. The leader of it was an Idaiyan called 
Amayappa Kone. The villagers held meetings at which thousands 
attended, took solemn oaths to do without the Kalian kdvalgdrs ] 
appointed watchmen of their own ; boycotted all the Kalians, 
refusing them even food and drink ; formed a fund to compensate 
those whose cattle were stolen or houses burnt ; provided every 
village with a horn which was to be blown in case of theft ; 
required every one hearing the horn to hurry to the rescue ; and 
laid down a scale of fines to be paid by those who did not adhere 
to these rules. 

At first the movement was thoroughly successful. It extended 
to Palni, Periyakulam and the borders of Coimbatore, the Kalians 
were outnumbered and overpowered, and many of them sold their 
fields for what they would fetch and fled from the taluk. For 
about six months crime ceased absolutely. As one deponent put 
it, ' People even left the buckets at the wells ! ' Some of the 
Kalians, however, showed fight, and in 1896 and 1897 riots 
occurred in which lives were lost and villages were burnt. The 
anti-Kallar people lacked efficient leadership, overstepped the 
limits allowed by law and were prosecuted accordingly. This 
encouraged the Kalians to renewed efforts, they were often 
assisted by the existence of factions in the villages, and in the end 
the greater part of the kdvalgdrs returned once more to their former 
offices and almost all the good which the agitation had effected 
was undone again. It was an almost unique instance of the ryots 
combining to help themselves, and deserved a less melancholy 

Hope for the reformation of the Kalian has now recently arisen 
in quite another quarter. Bound about Melur the people of the 
caste are taking energetically to wet cultivation, to the exclusion 
of cattle-lifting, with the Periyar water which has lately been 



brought there. In some of the villages to the south-east of that CHAP. ill. 

town they have drawn up a formal agronmint (wliich has been Principal 

solemnly registered and is most rigorousl) enforced by t]ie liead- 

men) forbidding theft, recalling all the women who have emigrated 

to Ceylon and elsewhere and — with an enlightenment which puts 

other communities to shame — })rohibiting several other unwise 

practices which are only too common, such as the removal from 

the fields of cowdung for fuel and the pollution of drinking-water 

tanks by stepping into tliem. The department of Public Works 

may soon be able to claim that it has succeeded where the army, 

the police and the magistracy have failed, and made an lionest man 

of the notorious Kalian. 

So much for the caste's unfortunate weakness. Its organization 
and customs may next be considered. It is divided into tliree 
endogamous sections : the Terhundd (' south country ') Kalians of 
Tanjore, with whom we are not now concerned ; the Kilndd (' east 
country ') or Melurnad Kalians of the Melur taluk ; and the 
Melndd (' west country ') or Piramalaindd (' be}ond the hills ') 
Kalians who live in the north-west of Tirumangalam taluk to tlie 
west of the Nagamalai. These last are often called in the old 
records ' the Anaiytir Kalians ' from the village of that name (see 
p. 325) 2>}^ miles east of Usilampatti. '1 laese main sections are again 
sub-divided into smaller ndds calJed after certain villages which it 
would be tedious to name in detail. At Sivaratri Kalians go and 
do pdja at the tem})le in the village which gives its name to tlieir 
ndd. Tradition says that the caste came originally ' from the 
north ' ; the dead are buried with their faces laid in that direction ; 
and when pdja is done to Karuppanasvami, the caste god already 
r^'ferred to, the worshippers turn to the north. The Kilnad 
Kalians were thus the first to reach the district. They came 
south, say the legends, on a hunting excursion with their dogs 
and their caste weapon, the valldrUadi or boomerang, and 
observing a peacock turn and show fight to one of their hounds 
saw that the country mast be favourable to the development of 
the manly virtues and decided to settle in it. The Vellalans wore 
then the chief cultivators round Melur, and the Kalians took service 
under them. The masters, however, so bullied the servants tliat 
the latter eventually struck and drew up a schedule of money 
penalties to be exacted for every variety of bodily injury inflicted 
on them, from the knocking out of a tooth to the causing of deatli. 
Later on they grew strong enough to turn the Vellalans altogether 
out of the taluk, which they then named tan-aranu-ndd or ' tlie 
country governed by themselves.' A section of them then travelled 


CHAP. HI. westward heyond tlie Nagamalai, drove out the Vedans who 
rKiNciPAi, peopled that country and settled there. Branches from this 
Castes. division travelled to Dindigul and Palni. Jt is said that 
the poligar of Virupakshi (p. 310) invited some of them to serve 
under him as l)order guards and tliat Ottaiyur (' single village ') in 
Palni, which is now entirely peopled by Kalians, was founded by 
the descendants of these people. 

The organization of the Kilntid Kalians differs from that of 
their biethren beyond the hills. Among the former an hereditary 
headman, called the ambahkdran, rules in almost every village. 
He receives small fees at domestic ceremonies, is entitled to the 
iirst betel and nut and settles caste disputes. Pines indicted 
are credited to the caste fund. The western Kalians are under a 
more monarchical rule, an hereditary headman called Tirumala 
Pinnai Tevan deciding most caste matters. He is said to get this 
hereditary name from the fact that his ancestor was appointed 
(with three co-adjutors) by king Tirumala Nayakkan and given 
many insignia of office, including a state palanquin. If any one 
declines to abide by his decision, excommunication is prooounced 
by the ceremony of ' placing the thorn ,^ which consists in laying 
a thorny branch across ihe threshold of the recalcitrant party's 
house to signify that for his contumacy his property will go to 
ruin and be overrun with jungle. The removal of the thorn and 
the restitution of the sinner to Kalian society can only be procured 
by abject apologies to Pinnai Tevan. 

Every Kalian boy has a right to claim the hand of his paternal 
aunt's daughter in marriage. This aunt bears the expenses 
connected with his circumcision. Similarly the maternal uncle 
pays the cost of the rites which are observed when a girl attains 
maturity, for he has a claim on the girl as a bride for his son. 
These two ceremonies are performed at one time for large batches 
of boys and girls. On an auspicious day the young -people are all 
feasted and dressed in their best and repair to a river or tank. 
The mothers of the girls make lamps of plantain leaves and float 
them on the water and the boys are operated on by the local 
barber, who gets a fee of from one to live fanams fa fanam is 3 as. 
4 ps.) for each. This practice of circumcision, which is not 
common among Hindu castes, has often been supposed to have 
been borrowed from, or enforced by, the Musalmans, but argu- 
ments in favour of its indigenous origin are the facts that it has 
a Tamil name and that, as has been said, the maternal aunt pays 
the expenses. 



Polyandry is stated^ to have prevailed among the -western cUAP. III. 
Kalians at one time, but no traces of the practice now survive. Priscipai. 

When a girl has attained maturitj she puts away the necklace 
of coloured beads she wore as a child and dons the horse-hair 
necklet which is characteristic of the Kalian woman. This she 
retains till death, even if she become a widow. The richer Kalians 
substitute for the horse-hair a necklace of many strands of fine 
silver wire. In Tirumangalam the women often hang round tlieir 
necks a most curious brass and silver pendant, six or eight inclies 
long and elaborately worked. 

Marriage is either infant or adult. Rrahmans have no hand in 
it. A boomerang should figure among the presents to the bride. 
The tali is tied by the bridegroom's sister, who then hurries off 
the bride, weeping pitfously, to her brother's house. Widows 
may re-marr)' and, if childless, almost invariably do so The 
correct match is with the late husband's brother Divorce is a 
mutual right and is permitted on slight grounds so long as the 
petitioner pays the usual fines, which are graduated in a compli- 
cated manner to meet different c;ises A man who divorces his 
wife for unfaithfulness does so by sending for her brothers and 
formally giving them a piece of straw, the idea being that this is 
all the fine the lady's value demands. The childreu of a divorcee 
conceived after the divorce may be legitimised by the waist- 
string of the father being cut off at a caste meeting and tied 
round the woman's neck. 

The Kiluad Kalians usually bury their dead. Lamps are 
periodically lighted on the tomb and it is whitewashed annually. 
The Piramalainad division usually burn the dead. If a woman 
dies when witli child, the baby is taken out and placed alongside 
her on the pyre. This, it may liere bo noted, is the rule with 
most castes in this district, and in some communities the relations 
afterwards put up a stone burden-rest b)' the side of a road, the 
idea being that the woman died with her burden and so her spirit 
rejoices to see others lightened of theirs. 

It has been stated ^ that in the eighteenth century custom 
required either ])arty to a Kalian quarrel to pprform on his own 
family whatever cruelties the other chose to inflict on his, and 
that accordingly one of two disputants had been known to kill his 
owu child so as to have the fiendish delight of forcing his adver- 
sary to do likewise. This idea is now apparently quite extinct. 

' Turnbuir* notice of the caHti> already cited. 
' Orme's history, i, 382, and Turnbull's account. 


CHAP. III. The fondness of the Kalians for jallikats, their women's 

Principal fashions of stretchino- their ear-lobes and dispensing' with an upper 

1 ' cloth, and their devotion to Karuppanasvami have been referred 

to already in this chapter. Hard things have been said about the 
Kalians, but points to their credit are the chastity of their women, 
the cleanliness they observe in and around their villages and their 
marked sobriety. A toddy-shop in a Kalian villag-e is seldom a 
financial success. 


After the Kalians, the Idaiyans are the next most numerous 
Tamil caste in the district. They number about 154,000. They 
are the shepherds and cowherds of the community and their 
title is Konan. They have an imposing math at Palni, near the 
Tiruvavinangudi temple. 

The caste is grouped into numerous sub-divisions which are 
endogamous but will dine together. Those most commonly met 
with in this district are the Podunattu, who mostly live to the 
south and west of Madura town ; the Pancharamkatti, who are in 
great strength in the same place ; the Eajendra and Kalkatti, 
both common round Kambam and Gudalur in Periyakulam taluk ; 
and the Valasu and Pendukkumekki, on the borders of the 
Bamnad zamindari. 

The Podunattu Idaiyans have a tradition that they originally 
belonged to Tinnevelly, but fled to this district secretly one night 
in a body in the time of Tirumala Nayakkan because the local 
chief oppressed them. Tirumala welcomed them and put them 
under the care of the Kalian headman Pinnai Tevan already men- 
tioned, decreeing that, to ensure that this gentleman and his 
successors faithfully observed the charge, they should be always 
appointed by an Idaiyan. That condition is observed to this day. 

In this sub -division a man has the same right to marry his 
paternal aunt's daughter as is possessed by the Kalians. But if 
the woman's age is much greater than the boy's, she is usually 
married instead to his cousin or some one else on that side of the 

A Brdhman priest officiates at weddings and the sacred fire is 
used, but the bridegroom's sister ties the tali. Divorce and the 
re-marriage of widows is prohibited. The dead, except infants, 
are burnt. Caste affairs are settled by a headman called the 
Nattanmaikaran, who is assisted by an accountant and a peon. 
All three are elected. The headman has the management of the 
caste fund, which is utilised in the celebration of festivals on 
pertain dayB in some of the larger temples of the district. 



Among these Podandttus an uncommon rule of inheritance is CHAP. III. 
in force. A woman who has no male issue at the time of her Pbincipal 

husband's death has to return his property to his brother, father, * 

or maternal uncle, but is allotted maintenance, the amount of 
whicli is fixed by a caste panchayat. Among- the Yalasu and 
Pendukkumekki sub-divisions another 0(id form of inheritance 
subsists. A man's propei-t-y descends to his sons-in-law, who live 
with him, and not to his sons. The sons merely get maintenance 
until they are married. 

The Pancharamkatti sub-division consists of two sections, one 
of whicli has a number of exogamous septs called kilais (branches) 
and the other has none. Its customs generally resemble those of 
the Podunattu Idaiyans, but widows are allowed to marry again. 
In the first of the two sections above mentioned a widow may 
re-marry once ; in the second there is no restriction. As soon as 
a widow's tali is removed it is replaced by a gold pendant shaped 
like a many-rayed sun and having three dots on it. This is called 
Pancharam and gives the sub-division its name. The story goes 
that the god Krishna used to tie a similar ornament round the 
necks of Idaiyan widows of whom he was enamoured as a sio-n 
that pleasure was not forbidden them. The dead of the Pancha- 
ramkatti sub-division are usually buried, and annually at the 
Pongal feast lights are placed on their tombs. 

The Valaiyans are nearly as numerous as the Idaiyans. Their Valaiyans, 
name is derived from valui, a net, and they ' formerly lived chiefly 
by snaring birds and small animals. Nowadays many of them are 
cultivators and some of them are thieves. They have a comical 
fairy tale of the origin of the war which still goes on between 
them and the rat-tribe. It relates how the chiefs of the rats met 
in conclave and devised the various means for annoying and 
harassing the enemy which they stiLl practise with sucli effect. 
The Valaiyans are grouped into four endogamous sub-divisions ; 
namely Vahni, Valattu, Karadi and Kangu. The last of these is 
again divided into Pasi-katti, those who use a bead necklet instead 
of a tali, and Karai-katti, those whose women wear horse-hair neck- 
laces like the Kalians. The caste title is M6ppan. Caste matters 
are settled by a headman called the Kambliyan (' blanket man '), 
who lives at Aruppukottai and comes round in state to any villao-e 
which requires his services, seated on a horse and accompanied by 
servants who hold an umbrella over his head and fan him. He 
holds his court seated on a blanket. The fines imposed go in 
equal shares to the aramanai (literally, ' palace,' i.e., to the head- 
man himself) and the oramanai, that is, the caste people. 






A Yalaiyan lias tlie right to claim his maternal uncle's 
daughter as a wife. At weddings the bridegroooi's sister ties the 
tali and then hurries the bride off to her brother's house, where 
he is waiting. When a girl attains maturity she is made to live 
for a fortnight in a temporary hut, which she afterwards burns 
down. While she is there, the little girls of the caste meet outside 
it and sing a song illustrative of the charms of womanliood and 
its power of alleviating the unhappy lot of the bachelor. Two of 
the verses say : — 

What of the hair of a man ? 

It is twisted and matted, and a burden. 
What of the tresses of a woman ? 

They are as flowers in a garland, and a glory. 
What of the life of a man ? 

It is that of the dog at the palace gate. 
What of the days of a woinan ? 

They are like the gently- waving leaves in a festoon. 

Divorce is readily permitted on the usual payments and 
divorcees and widows may re-marry. A married woman who goes 
astray is brought before the Kambliyan, who delivers a homily 
and then orders the man's waist-string to be tied round her neck. 
This legitimises any children they may have. 

Certain of the Valaiyans who live at Ammayanayakkanur are 
the hereditary pt/jdris to the gods of the Sirumalai hills. Some 
of these deities are uncommon, and one of them, Papparayan, is 
said to be the spirit of a Brahman astrologer whose monsoon 
forecast was falsified by events and who, filled with a shame rare 
in unsuccessful weather-prophets, threw himself accordingly off a 
high point on the range. 

The ceremonies at a Valaiyan funeral are elaborate. At the 
end of them the relations go three times round a basket of grain 
placed under a pandal, beating their breasts and singing — 
For us the kanj'i : Kailasam for thee ; 
Eice for us : for thee Svargalokam, 
and then wind turbans round the head of the deceased's heir in 
recognition of his new position as chief of the family. 

When a woman loses her husband, she goes three times round 
the village mandai with a pot of water on her shoulder. After 
each of the firs^i two journeys the barber makes a hole in the pot 
and at the end of the third he hurls down the vessel and cries 
out an adjuration to the departed spirit to leave the widow and 
children in peace. 


KamTTialan is a generic term applied to the artisans of tlie CHAP. Ill, 
Tamil countrj. The Kammalan caste is divided into five sec- Principal 
tions ; namely, Tattans or goldsmiths, KoUans or blacksmiths, C xbiE a. 
Kannans or brass-smiths, Tachchans or carpenters, and Kal Kammalam. 
Tachchans or stone masons. These all intermarry and dine 
together. The caste title is Asari. The Kanimalans claim to be 
of divine origin and say that they are descended from Visva- 
karma, the architect of the gods. They consequently assume 
airs of superiority over the Brahmans, wear the sacred thread and 
copy many of the Brahmanical customs. These pretensions are 
of long standing, but none the less the caste has not yet shaken 
itself free from several of its Dravidian customs and these reveal 
its descent. The Kammalans talk, for example, of their gott^as, 
but these, unlike real gotras, form no guide to the marriages 
which are permissible, and the caste follows tlie Dravidian rule 
that a man is entitled to the hand of his paternal aunt's daughter. 
Again, though marriage is often performed between infants after 
the Brahmanical fasliion, yet the Dravidian bride-price is always 
paid. Widows may not re-marry, but they are allowed to wear 
jewellery and chew betel and nut and are not required to observe 
the fasts which Brahman widows keep. The dead, again, are 
usually buried and not burnt, and the pollution lasts for the 
period common among non-Brahman castes — sixteen days. 
Vegetarianism is commonly practised and yet animal sacrifices 
are made to village goddesses. 

The caste-goddess is Kamakshiamman, and she has lier own 
temple wherever Kammalans are numerous. In this all caste 
disputes and affairs are settled. No tradition of this deity's 
origin appears to survive. The caste-organization is very com- 
plete. Each of the five divisions elects its own ndttdninaihdran, 
or headman, and his hnryaslan, or executive officer. From the 
five ndttdmnaikdrans a headman of the whole caste, called the 
anjuvidn ndUdnniaikdran is selected by lot, a little child being made 
to draw the lots in Kamakshiararaan's temple. These officials 
all serve for life. Local headmen, subordinate to them, are often 
appointed in big villages where the community is numerous. 
The caste guru lives in Tinnevelly. He is a householder, and not 
a sanydsi, and his authority is limited. 

After the Kammalans in numerical strengtli come the Chettis. Nattak^f^si 
Of tlvis great community the only sub-division which is especially ^•^^•^tis. 
prominent in Madura is the Nattukottai, or wealthy banking, 
section. The traditions of these people say that they fled to this 
district from Kaveripattanam, formerly the chief port of Tanjoro 

100 MADUEA. 

CHAP. III. "because tlie Cliola king oppressed tliem ; and that they first settled 
Pkixcipal at Nfittarasatikottai near Sivaganga, whence their name. 'J'hey 

* are devout Saivites and are usuallj plentifully marked with holy 

ash and wear a rudrdkshmn seed hung round their necks. They 
shave their heads completely, not leaving the usual kudutm, and 
their women stretch the lobes of their ears. Consequently ingeni- 
ous native genealogists have pronounced them to be the offspring 
of Kalian women by Musalraan fathers. The fact that their 
unmarried girls wear necklaces of cowries has similarly given 
rise to the story that the caste is descended from unions between 
Kalians and Kuravans. 

The Nattukottai Chettis have two territorial endogamous 
sub-divisions, Ilaiyattakudi and Ariviyur, called after two villages 
in the Sivaganga zamindari ; the necklets of the married women 
of the former of these have two strings, while those of the 
matrons of the latter have only one. The Ilaiyattakudi section 
is further divided into seven exogamous septs called kovils, or 
temples, which derive their names from seven favourite temples 
in the seven villages of Ilaiyattakudi, Mattur, Iluppaikudi, 
Surakkudi, Yairavankovil, Pillaiyarpatti and \'^elangudi. 

At weddings, garlands are brought from the temple to which 
the bridegroom's family belongs, A man has a right to the hand 
of his paternal aunt's daughter and the usual bride-price is paid. 
The tali is tied by a man of the caste, for choice one who has had 
many children. Vegetarian families intermarry with those which 
eat meat. Widows may not re-marry and divorce is forbidden. 
The dead are burnt. I'ollution lasts for fifteen days and is 
removed by the gurus. There are two of these, the heads of the 
maths at Piranmalai and at Padarakudi near Tiruppattur, 

The Nattukottai Chettis are bankers, money-lenders and 
wholesale merchants, and do business all over south India and in 
Burma, Ceylon, the Straits Settlements and Natal. The foreign 
business is transacted by local agents belonging to the caste, 
who receive a salary proportioned to the distance of the place from 
Madura, and also, usually, a percentage on the profits. 'I'hey 
generally serve for three-year terms and then return -and give an 
account of their stewardship. In time they amass enough to start 
business on their own account. The caste has a high reputation in 
the commercial world for integrity and businesslike habits. These 
latter they carry even into their domestic affairs. As long as the 
father is alive, all the sons live together under the same roof with 
him. Hence the huge houses for which the Nattukottai Chettis 
in the Sivaganga zamindari are known. But though the various 


component parts of a family reside under one roof, they do not CHAP. III. 
mess in common; but eacli oie is given a carefully-calculated Principal 
annual budget allotment of rice, condiments and other necessaries Castis. 
and required to cook his meals by himself. 

Of the profits of their commercial transactions a fixed per- 
centage f called magamai) is usually set aside for charity. Some 
of the money so collected is spent on keeping up Sanskrit 
schools, but most of it has been laid out in the repair and restora- 
tion of the temples of tlie south, especial attention being paid 
to those shrines {pd-Jal petta sUiahincjaL as they are called) which 
were hymned by the four great Saivite poet-saints, Manikya- 
Yachakar, Appar, Tirugnana Sambandhar and Sundaramurti. 
Lakhs have Ijcen laid ont on these buildings, but unluckily the 
money has not alwa^'s been expended with taste, or with a fitting 
reverence for the older work. 

Vannans are the washermen of the community. The name is Vannins 
rather an occupational term than a caste title and, besides the 
Pandya Tanniins or Vannans proper, includes the Vaduga Vannans, 
' northern washermen ' or Tsakalas of theTelugu country, and the 
Palla, Pudara and Tulukka Vannans, who wash for the Pallans, 
Paraiyans and Musalmans respectively. The Pandya Vannans 
have a headman called the Periya manislian ('big man ') who has 
the usual powers and privileges. A man can claim the hand of his 
paternal aunt^s daughter. At weddings a bride-price of Es. 10|- 
is paid and the bridegroom's sister ties the tali. Nambis officiate, 
and receive a fee of five fanams. Divorce is freely allowed to 
either party on payment of twice the bride-price, and divorcees 
may marry again. The caste-god is Grurunathan, in whose temples 
the pujari is usually a Vannan. The dead are generally burnt, 
and on the sixteenth day the liouse is purified from pollution by a 

The Kusavans are the potters. They have no caste headmen Knsavans. 
and their only sub-divisions are tlie territorial sections Pandya, 
Chola and Cliera. They say these are descended fi-om the tliree 
sons of their orij^imil ancestor Kulalan, who was t]ic son of 
Brahma. He }>rayed to Bralima to be allowed, like liim, to 
create and destroy tilings daily ; so Bralima made liim a potter. 
A Kusavan can claim the hand of his paternal aunt's daughter. 
Marriage occurs before puberty. The tali is tied by the bride- 
groom's sister and the usual bride-price is paid. The ceremonies 
last three days. One of them consists in the bridegroom's sister 
sowing seeds in a pot, and on the last day of the wedding the 
seedlings which have sprouted are taken with music to a river or 







tank and thrown into it. When the Ijride attains maturity a cere- 
mocy is conducted by the caste-priest and consummation follows 
on the next auspicious day, 

Botli divorce and tlie re-rnarriag-e of widows are forbidden. 
The dead, except infants, are burnt. The special deity of the 
caste is Aiyanar. Kusavans are generally the pujaris in his 
temples, and they make the earthenware horses and images which 
are placed before these buildings. 

The Parivaram caste are the domestic servants of the Tottiyan 
(Kambalattcir) zamindars. The word means a retinue, and was no 
doubt originally merely an occupational term. The community 
speaks both Tamil and Telugu. It is divided into two endoga- 
mous sections; the Chinna IJliyam (' little services '), who are 
])alanquin-bearers and have the title Tevan ; and the Periya 
Uliyam ('big services '), who are called Maniyakaran The 
Kombai Parivarams, who are the servants of the Kappiliyan 
iiamindars of Kombai and Tevaram in the Periyakulam taluk, 
are a sejiarate community and do not intermarry with the others. 
When a girl attains maturity she is kept for sixteen days in a 
temporary hut -^^hich is guarded at night by her relations. This 
is afterwards burnt down and the pots she used are broken into very 
small pieces, as there is an idea that if rain- water collects in any 
of them the girl will be childless. Dujing her subsequent periods 
the girl has to live in the special hut which is provided for tJie 
purpose. Some of the ceremonies at weddings are unusual. On 
the first day a man takes a big pot of water with a smaller empty 
pot on top of it and marches three times round tlie open space in 
front of the bride's house. With him march the happy couple 
carrying a bamboo to which are tied, in a saffron-coloured cloth, 
the nine kinds of grain. After the third journey round, these 
things are put down at the north-east corner, and the marriage 
pandal is made by bringing three more poles of the same size. 
Afterwards the wrists of the couple are tied together and the 
bridegroom's brother carries the pair a short distance, They 
plunge their hands into a bowl of salt. Next the husband takes 
an ordinary stone rolling-pin, wraps it in a bit of cloth and gives 
it to his wife, saying ' Take the child, I am going to the palace.' 
She takes it replying ' Yes, give me the child, the milk is 
ready.' This has to be repeated three times in a set formula. 
Several other odd rites are observed. Brahmans officiate and the 
bridegroom's sister, as usual, ties the tali. Divorce is allowed to 
both sides. Adultery within the caste or with the zamindar is 
tolerated. The husbands accept as their own any children their 


wives may bear to the zamindar. Such children are called CHAP. III. 
Chinna Kambalattar and may marry with Tottiyans. But Principal 
adultery outside the caste is most rig-orously prohibited and j^s- 

sternly punished with excommunication. A mud imag-e of the 
girl who so offends is made, two thorns are poked into its eyes and 
it is thrown away outside the village. 

The Kunnuvans are the principal culti\ ating caste on the Palni TCnnnnvans. 
hills. They speak Tamil. Their own traditions say that their 
ancestors were Vellalans from the Dharaj'juram and Kangayam 
country in Coimbatore who went u]^ the Palnis some four or fiye 
centuries ago because the low country was so disturbed by war 
(other accounts say devastated by famine), and they call them- 
selves Kunnuva Vellalans and state that the name Kunnuva is 
derived from Kunnur village in Coimbatore. Other traditions 
add that the Virupakshi and Ayakkudi poligars helped them to 
settle on their land in the hills, which up to then had only been 
cultivated by indolent Pulaiyans The Kunnuvans ousted these 
latter and eventually turned them into predial serfs, a position 
from which they have liardly yet freed themselves. In every 
village is a headman, called the manna cU, who has the usual 
powers The caste is divided into three endogamous sections, 
called vaguppua ; namelj^, Periya (big) Kunnuvar, Kunnuvar, 
and Chinna (little) Kunnuvar. These will eat together. The 
dress of the women is characteristic. They w;^ear rough metal 
necklets, brass bangles and anklets, silver bangles on their u]iper 
arms and rings in their noses ; and they knot their upper cloths 
in front across their breasts and bind them round their wai.'sts 
with a sort of bandage. White cloths used to be forbidden then?, 
but are common eno '^gh nowadays. 

The claim of a man to his paternal aunt's daughter is rigidly 
maintained, and the evasions of the rule allowed by other castes 
when the ages of the parties are disproportionate ai-e not per- 
mitted. Consequently a boy sometimes marries more than one 
of these cousins of his, and until he reaches manliood those of them 
who are much older than he is live with other men of the caste, 
the boy being the nominal father of any children which may be 
born. A boy of nine or ten may thus be the putative father of a 
child of two or three. The marriage ceremonies are the same 
as usual, a bride-price being demanded, the bridegroom's si.ster 
tying the tali, and the relations being feasted. 

When a man has no children except a girl, and his family is 
in danger of coming to an end, a curious practice called ' keeping 
up the house ' is followed. The girl cannot be claimed by her 

104 MADtlBA. 

CHAP. III. maternal uncle's son, as usual, but may be ' married ' to one of 
Principal the doorposts of the house. A silver bangle is put on her right 

.' ' wrist instead of a tali round her neck, she is allowed to consort 

with any man of her caste, her earnings go to her parents, she 
becomes their heir, and if she has a son the boy inherits their 
property through her. The custom is a close parallel to the 
system of making girls Basavis which is so common in the 
western part of Bellary and the neighbouring parts of Dharwar 
and Mysore. 

Divorce is readily obtained on the petitioner paying the 
amount of the bride-price, but the children all go to the father. 
Divorcees and widows may re-marry, and they do so with a fre- 
quency which has made the caste a byword among its neigh- 
bours. The Kunnuvans worship the usual village deities of the 
plains. They generally burn their dead. 

Pulaiyans. The Pulaiyans were apparently the earliest inhabitants of the 

Palni hills and had things all their own way until the arrival 
of the Kunnuvans just referred to. They seem, however, to be 
merely Tamils from the low country, and not a separate race. 
They speak Tamil and their customs resemble, generally, those 
of the people in the plains. The caste has a headman called the 
Nattanmaikaran, who is assisted by a Servaikaran and a toti, or 
peon, and whose powers and duties are much the same as elsewhere, 
'^l.^he community is grouped into three exogamous sub-divisions, 
called k/Htams, which are known respectively as Kolankuppan, 
Pichi, and Mandiyaman after their supposed original ancestors. 
Marriages take place after puberty and are arranged by the 
parents. The ceremonies are simple. A bride-price of Bs. 25 
is paid and a tali of white beads is tied round the girl's neck. 
Divorce can be obtained by either party on payment of a fine 
equal to the bride-price, and divorcees and widows may re-marry 
any one they choose. Ihe Pulaiyans' favourite deities are 
Mayandi (whose shrine is generally on a knoll close to the 
village), Karumalaiyan, and a goddess called Puvadai. Festivals 
in their honour occur in (.'hittrai, and consist largely in much 
dancing by twelve men who have sanctified themselves for the duty 
by abstaining from eating beef for the twelve months preceding?. 
On the first day they sacrifice a sheep to Mayandi. On the next, 
they take a ragi pudding in a pot to the shrine of Karumalaiyan, 
dance round it and then distribute it. On the third day they 
begin an eight-day feast to Puvadai, at the end of which is more 
. dancing. The whole caste is extremely fond of dancing, and in 
Panguni (March- April) both men and women keep it up to all 


hours, going- round and round with great energy to the sound of CHAP. ID. 
a drum. Pulaiyans eat beef and pork and even rats. Mr. Turn- Principai 
bull's notice of them embodied in Ward's Purvey Account says Castes. 
that when any one is attacked with small-pox his friends and 
relations all flee and leave him to his fate, and the people of his 
village are prohibited from holding intercourse with others until 
the epidemic has abated. Much the same thing occurs among the 
Malaiy^lis of the Kalrayan hills. 

In the fifties of the last century the Society for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel sent a catechist to work among the Pulaiyans. 
The work languished afterwards, but has now been revived by 
the American Mission. The catechist's letters in the Madras 
Quarterly Missionary Journal for 1850-52 give a few details 
about the ways of the caste. They used to assemble for regular 
hunting excursions. When any animal was killed, its skin or 
some other part of it was sent to the nearest temple so that the 
deity might give them more good sport in future. Anyone who 
was killed on these occasions was buried in tlie jungle and his 
memory treated with much respect. The Pulaiyans were kept 
in the greatest subjection by their masters, the Kunnuvans, who 
would not let them have a light at night or sleep on a cot, lent 
them money at usurious interest and turned them into slaves if 
they were unable to pay it back. None the less, the Pulaiyans 
were considered indispensable in all cases of sickness, as they 
alone knew the j)owers of the medicinal herbs of the hills ; and 
also in cases of demoniac possession, as the local devils could only 
be propitiated through their intervention. They were clever at 
poisoning tigers, and any man who did so was given a new cloth 
by public subscription and chaired round the village with dancing 
and music. 

The Paliyans are a very backward caste who reside in small, Pal^yai". 
scattered parties amid the jungles of the Upper Palnis and the 
Varushanad valley. They speak Tamil with a peculiar intonation 
which renders it scarcely intelligible. They are much less civil- 
ized than the Pulaiyans, but do not eat beef and consequently 
carry no pollution. They sometimes build themselves grass huts, 
but often they live on platforms up trees, in caves, or under 
rocks. Their clothes are of the scantiest and dirtiest, and are 
sometimes eked out with grass or leaves. They live upon roots 
(yams), leaves and honey. They cook the roots by putting them 
into a pit in the ground and heaping wood upon them and light- 
ing it. The fire is usually kept burning all night as a protection 
against wild beasts and it is often the only sign of the presence of 
the Paliyans in a jungle, for they are shy folk who avoid other 







people. They make fire witli quartz and steel, using the floss of 
the silk-cotton tree as tinder. Weddings are conducted without 
ceremonies, the understanding being that the man shall collect 
food and the woman cook it. When one of them dies the rest 
leave the bodj as it is and avoid the spot for some months. 
Mr. Thurston has published an account^, with illustrations and 
measurements, of a settlement of the caste in the Tinnevelly 
jungles. There, the dead are buried and a stone is placed over the 
grave, which is never visited again. 

The only Telugu caste which is characteristic of the district 
are the Tottiyans, otherwise known as Kambalattar or Kambalat- 
t^r Nayaks. To this community belong nearly all the zamindars. 
Most of the men now speak Tamil, but Telugu is commonly used 
by the women. The caste title is Nayakkan. The usual occupa- 
tion is cultivation. The traditional story of their migration to 
this district is jiiven in several of the Mackenzie MSS. and is still 
repeated by the people of the caste. Centuries ago, says this 
legend, the Tottiyans. lived to the north of the Tungabhadra 
river. The Muhammadans there tried to marry their women and 
make them eat beef, so one fine night they fled southwards in a 
body. The Muhammadans pursued them and their path was 
blocked by a deep and rapid river. They had just given them- 
selves up for lost when a ponga ( Vongamia glabra) tree on either 
side of the stream leant forward and, meeting in the middle, made 
a bridge across it. Over this they hurried, and, as soon as they 
had passed, the trees stood erect once uiore before the Musalmans 
could similarly cross by them. The Tottiyans in consequence 
still reverence the pongu tree and their marriage-pandals are 
always made from its wood. They travelled on until they 
came to the city of Vijayanagar, under whose king they took 
service, and it was in the train of the Vijayanagar armies that 
they came to Madura, Caste matters used to be settled by the 
Mettu Nayakkan, or headman, and the Kodangi Nayakkan, or 
priest, so called because he carried a drum. Nowadays they 
are generally decided by a public assembly the leaders of which 
seat themselves solemnly on a blanket on which it placed a pot 
of water containing margosa leaves, an emblem of the presence 
of the deity. Persons charged with offences are invited to 
prove their innocence by undergoing ordeals. These are now 
harmless enough, such as attempting to cook rice in a pot which 
has not been fired, but Turnball says that he saw the boiling oil 

^ Madras Museurr,, Bulletins, Vol. V, No. 1. Other references are Indian 
Antiquary, (1876), v, 60, aad Madras Quarterly Missionary Journal for October 



ordeal in 1813 in Piiilukkottai territory. Perhaps the most CHAP. III. 
serious caste offeaoe is adalterj with a man of another com- Principal 
raiinity". Turnbull sajs that women convicted of this used to be 
senten '.ed to he killed by Ghakkiliyaas. but nowadays rigid 
excommunication is the penalty. 

The caste is divided into eight exogamous septs, which seem 
.(the information is incomplf^te) to be totemiatic in origin and 
each of which intermarries only with one of the remaininpf 
eight. When a girl attains maturity she is kept in a separate 
hub which is watched by a Chakkiliyan. Marriage is either 
infant or adult. A man has the usual claim to his paternal 
aunt's daui:htyr and so rigorously is this rule followed that boys 
of tender years are frequently married to grown womon. These 
latter are allowed to consort with their husband's near relntions 
and the boy is held to be the father of any children which may 
be born. Weddings last tliree days and involve very numerous 
ceremonies. They take place in a special pandai erected in the 
village, on either side of which are smaller pandals for the bride 
and bridegroom. Two uncommon rites aro the slaughtering of a 
red ram without blemish and marking the foreheads of the couple 
with its blood, and the pursuit by the bridegroom, vsdtli a b<jw 
and arrow, of a man who pretends to flee but is at length captured 
and bound. The ram is first sprinkled with water and if it 
shivers this, as usual, is held to bo a good omen. The bride- 
price is seven kalams of cambu, and the couple may eat only 
this grain and horse-gram until the wedding is over. A botfu is 
tied round the bride's neck by the bridegroom's sister. In very 
rare cases, among certain sections of the caste, the bridegroom 
sends a dagger to represent him and does not appear himself. 
This form is apparently only adopted when the bride is of rather 
inferior social status and the ceremonial is then much simpler. 
The loading judicial decision upon this form is I.L.R., XVIl 
Madras, 422. After marriage, women are required to bestow 
their favours upon their husband's nearest relatives, and it is 
believed that ill-luck will attend any refusal to do so. f>!afi was 
formerly very common in the caste, and the two caste-goddesses, 
Jakkamma and Bommajya, are deifications of women who thus 
sacrificed themselves. Every four years a ft-stival is held in 
their honour, one of the chief events in which is a bullock race. 
The owner of the winning auiaial receives a prize and gets the 
first betel and nut during the feast. The caste god is Perumal, 
who is worsbipped in the form of a currv-griading stone. Tho 
story goes that when the Tottiyans were fleeing to the south one 







of their women found her grinding-stone so intolerablj heary 
that she threw it away. It however reappeared in her basket. 
Thrown away again, it once more reappeared and she then 
realised that the caste god must be accompanying them. The 
dead are either buried or burnt. In the hitter case a tomb is 
ere3ted at which worship is done for 40 <lays. The Tottiyans 
have mausoleums (mdlai, see p. 320) in which a stone is placed 
to represent each deceased member of the family, and periodical 
ancestor-worship is performed in these. 

Of the Canarese-speaking castes of the district, two, the 
K£ppiliyans and Anuppans, are worth a note. The former are 
moft nuraeious in the villages near the head of the Kambarn 
valley. Some of the polisfars in this part of the country were 
Kappiliyans, and they doubtless brought with them a retinue of 
their own castempii. ' he Kappiliyans' tradition regarding their 
migration to this district is similar to that current among the 
Tottiyans (whom they resemble in several of their customs), the 
story beinu that tlie caste was oppressed by the Musalmans of 
the north, fled across the Tungabhadra aad was saved by two 
pomju trees bridging an unfordable stream which blocked their 
escape. They trav^elled, say the legen^ls, through Mysore to 
Coiijeeveram, theuce to Coimbatore and thence to this district. 
The stay at Conjeeveram is always emphasised, and is supported 
by the fact that the caste has shrines dedicated to Kanchi 
Varadaraja Perumal. 

The Kappiliyans are split into two endogamous sub-divisions ; 
namely, the Dharmakatta, so called because, out of charity, they 
allow widows to marry one more husband, and the Mtinukattu, 
who permit a woman three husbands in succession. The former 
are again sub-divided into a number of sections, each of whom 
may only intermarry with certain of the others. 

Caste panchayats hold court on a blankot and the president 
is a headman called the Jati Kavundan. Kavundan is the caste 
title. When a girl attains maturity she is kept in a temporary 
hut in the village mandai (common land) for 15 days, and is 
waited on, and guarded at night, by her relatives. She is then 
brought into the village with music, and a saffron-coloured thread 
is tied round her neck as a badge of her condition. The hut is 
burnt down and the pots she used are broken to atoms. 

A man's right to marry his paternal aunt's daughter is so 
rigorously insisted upon that, as among the Tottiyans, ill-assorted 
matches are common. A woman whose husband is too young 
to fulfil the duties of his position is allowed to consort with his 

THl PEOPLI. 109 

near relations, and the children so begotten are treated as his. CHAP. ill. 
At weddings no t^li is tied, but the binding portions of the Principal 

ceremony are the donning by the bride of a saffron-coloured cloth t *' 

Bent her by the bridegroom and of black {^lass bangles (unmar- 
ried girls may only wear bangles made of lac) and the linking of 
the couple's little fingers. A dultery outside the caste is punished 
by expulsion and, to show that the woman is thenceforward as 
good as dead, funeral ceremonies are solemnly performed to some 
trinket of hers, and this is afterwards burnt. The special deities 
of the caste are many, and some of them appertain to particular 
sections and even particular families. In several instances they 
are women who committed soti. The dead are usually burnt, but 
children, people who have died of cholera, and pregnant women 
are buried. In the case of the last^ as usual, the child is first 
taken out. The characteristic occupation of the K^ppiliyans is 
cattle-grazing. Their ' sacred herd ' at Kambam has been already 
referred to on p. 20. 

The Anuppans are commonest in the Kambam valley. They Anupp«n». 
have a tradition regarding their migration thither which closely 
resembles that current among the Kappiliyans and T6ttiyan8. 
Their title is Kavundan. They are divided into six territorial 
groups called meduK which are named after three villages in this 
district and three in Tinnevelly. Over each of these is a headman 
called the Periyadanakk^ran, and the three former are also subject 
to a guru who lives at (Sirup^L^i near Madura. These three are 
divided again into eighteen kilais, oi branches, each of whom 
intermarries only with certain of the others. Caste panch^yats 
are held on a blanket on which (compare the T6ttiyan custom) is 
placed a pot of water containing margosa leaves to symbolise the 
sacred nature of the meeting. Women who go astray with men of 
other castes are expelled ; and various ceremonies, including (it is 
said) the burying alive of a goat, are enacted to show that they are 
dead to the community. The right of a man to the hand of his 
paternal aunt's daughter is as rigorously maintained as among the 
Kdppiliyans and Tottiyans, and leads to the same curious state 
of affairs. No t^li is tied at weddings, and the binding part of 
the ceremonies is the linking, on seven separate occasions, of 
the little fingers of the couple. A bride-price, as usual, is paid. 
Like the Kdppiliyans, the Anuppans have many caste and family 
deities, a number of whom are women who committed saii. 

Of the castes who speak languages foreign to this Presidency Patndl- 
the only one which calls for mention is the Patnlilkdran (' silk- ''^a""« 
thread-people ') eonamunity which is so numerous in Madura 


CHAP. III. and Dindigul towns. Their vernarular is Patnlili or Khatri, a 
PBiNciPAt, dialect of Gujarati, and they came originally from Grujardt. An 
Castes. inscription dated 473-7 1 A.D. at Mandasor in western Malwa 
relates ^ how the Pattavayas, as the caste was then called, were 
induced to migrate thither from Lata, ou the coast of Gujarat, 
by king Kumara Gupta (or one of his lieutenants) to practise 
there their art of silk-weaving. The inscription eays many flat- 
tering ttiiugs about the community, and poetically compares the 
city to a beautiful woman and the immigrants to the silk 
garments in which she decks herself when she goes to meet her 
lover. On the destruction of Mandasor by the Musalmans, the 
Pattavdyas seem to have travelled south to Devagiri, the modern 
Daulatabad, the then capital of the Yadavas, and thence, when 
the Musalmans again appeared on the scene at the beginning of 
the fourteenth century, to Vijayanagar and eventually to Madura. 
A curious ceremony confirming this conjecture is performed to 
this day at Patnulkaran weddings in south India. Before the 
date of the wedding the bridegroom's party go to the bride's 
house and ask formally for the girl's hand. Her relations ask 
them in a set form of words who they are and whence they come, 
and they reply that they are from Sorath (the old name for 
Saurashtra or Kathiawar), resided iu Devagiri, travelled south 
(owing to Musalmau oppression) to Vijayanagar and thence came 
to Madura. They then ask the bride's party the same question 
and receive the same reply. A Marathi MS. prepared in 1822 
at Salem under the direction of the then Collector, Mr. M, D. 
Cockburn, contains the same tradition ; Mr. Sewell's A Forgotten 
Empire sbows how common silk clothing and trappings were at 
Yiiayauagar in the days of its glory ; most of the Patnulkarans 
can still speak Telugu, which raises the inference that they must 
have resided a long time in the Telugu country, while their 
Patnlili contains many Oanarese and Telugu words; and they 
observe the feast oF Basavanna (or Boskanna) which is almost 
peculiar to the Bellary country. After the downfall of Vijaya- 
nagar some of the caste seem to have gone to Bangalore, for a 
weaving community called Patvegars, who speak a dialect similar 
to Patauli, still reside there. Patvegdr is another form of 
Pattavaya or Pattavayaka, and Patnulkaran is the Tamil form 
of the same word. 

The members of the caste in Madura prefer to be called 
Saurashtras. They say that they are Brahmans. The claim is 
no new affair, as in tlie reign of Queen Mangamm^l (lfKS9-1704) 

1 Ind. Ant., xv, 194-201. 


eighteen of the members of the community were arrested by the CidAP.iil. 
governor of Madura for performing the Brahmanical ceremony Principal 
of Mjoa'Ar/r/;/**, or renewal of the sicred thread. The queen con- 
vened a meeting of those learned in the Sdstras to investigate the 
Patnlilkarans' right to perform such ceremonies. This declared 
in favour of the defendants ; and the queen gave them a paliu-leaf 
award accordingly, which is still preserved in Madura. The 
caste now follows many of the customs of the southern Brahmans 
regarding food, dress, forms of worship and names, and has 
recently taken to the adoption of Brahmanical titles, such as 
Aiyar,";^Ach£iri and Bhagavatar. 

Tiie affairs of the^Patuulkaraus at Madura are now managed 
by a ' Saurashtra sabha ' which was started in 1895. This body 
collects a mi'gamai, a sort of income-tax, from the members of tlie 
caste and spends the proceeds on objects calculated to benefit 
the community/among them the maintenance of a high school 
and subordinate institutions to feed it, and the upkeep of a caste 
temple. •. The Patnulkdrans have a very strong esprit de corps and 
this has stood them in good stead in their weaving, which is 
more scientifically carried on, and in a more flourishing condition, 
than is usual elsewhere. 






The different 

AoRicuLTURAL STATISTICS — The different taluks — The various crops. Wbt 
Cultivation — Paddy — Its cultivation — Its varieties. Dry Cultivation— 
Methods — Cotton — Tobacco. Irrigation — Area protected — Wells — Tanks 
and channels — The Poriyd,r project. Economic condition of agriculturists. 

The figures appended, which are those for 1903-04, show at a 
glance the general agricultural position in Madura : — 




Percentage of area by Percentage of area in 
survey which is village accounts of 









Forest and other area 
not available for 








Kodaikanal ... 





District Total ... 























It will be seen that of the total area, 30 per cent, is made up of 
zamindaris, and that in Periyakulam this proportion rises to one- 
half of the whole. These tracts and the whole inam villages do 
not appear in the village accounts. Excluding them, of every 100 
acres for which particulars are on record in the accounts, as much 
as 36 are forest or hill or otherwise not available for cultivation, 
47 are cropped, 8 are current fallows and 8^ are other culturable 

The proportion of land not available for cultivation is highest 
in Kodaikanal and Periyakulam taluks, where so much of the 
country consists of mouatain and jungle, and lowest in Palni and 



Tirumangalam. In these latter two taluks there are hardlj any 
forests or hills, and moreover culturablo land is seldom loft waste 
in Palni owing to the prevalence of cultivation under wells, or in 
Tirumangalam owing- to the richness of the soil. Fallows would 
appear to be commonest in Palni and Dindigul, but the reason for 
this is partly the fact that the year (1903-04) for which statistics 
are given was unusually dry and consequently less than usual of 
the unirrigated land was cropped. 

The figures below give for the same year 1 903-04 the percent- 
age of the total area cultivated, both in the district as a whole and 
in each of the taluks, which was grown with certain oF the more 
important crops : — 





















Cereals and pulses — 









































































Condiments and 









Orchard and garden 










Oil-seeds — 


















Sngar.cane ... 













Drnga and narcotics — 
























* Includes coffee (28-2 per cent.) ; cardamoms (129 per cent.) ; and wheat 
(3-1 per cent.). 

It will be noticed that of the regularly irrigated crops paddy 
is the only one which occupies any considerable extent, the areas 
grown with sugar-cane and betel-vine being very small. These 
two latter, however, are on the increase now that the advent of the 
Periydr water has rendered irrigation more certain. Of the dry 




The various 









crops, cholam (the black variety) is mucli the most popular, and 
then vai-agu ; while cambu, ragi, sdmai and horse-gi'am each 
occupy about the same proportional extent. Gringelly is the chief 
oil-seed ; cotton is of considerable importance ; and tobacco, 
though occupying only a relatively small area, is of much 
industrial value. 

Paddy is most important in the Madura and Melur taluks, 
which are irrigated by the Periydr channels. It occupies the next 
laigest area (relatively) in Periyakulam, where again the water of 
the Periy^r is much utilised. In the dry taluks of Dindigul and 
Palni it is grown on only a tenth of the total cultivated area. 
Sugar-cane and betel are also most raised in Madura and Melur. 
Cholam occupies '60 per cent, of the cropped area in Dindigul 
and Palni and a large acreage in Periyakulam. Horse-gram is 
similarly more grown in these three taluks than in any others. It 
is the only crop which does well in the red sandy land which is so 
common in them. Of the other dry grains, cambu is most popular 
in Dindigul, Palni and Melur; ragi in Palni and Periyakulam; 
varagu in Dindigul, Madura and Melur; and samai in Dindigul, 
Palni and Periyalsulam. Cotton is cultivated in more than a 
fourth of Tirumangalam and on small areas in Palni and Periya- 
kulam, and the tobacco of the district is mainly raised in these 
last two taluks and Dindigul. Coffee, cardamoms and wheat are 
cultivated on Govei-nment land only in the Palni hills (Kodaikaiial 
taluk) but the two former are grown on small extents of zamin- 
dari land on the Sirumalais. The area under ' condiments and 
spices ' in Kodaikanal is that cultivated with garlic. Most of this 
is raised for export. The ' orchard and garden produce ' which 
occupies so considerable a relative area in the same laluk is the 
special plantain for which the Palnis are famous. This is also 
largely raised on the Sirumalais, 

Such is the general agricultural pociition, and it remains to 
refer to the methods of the Madura ryots in the cultivation of wet 
and dry crops. 

In Madura and Melur, under the Periydr channels, only about 
one-third of the irrigated land is cropped twice with paddy. In 
time, tv/o crops may come to be the rale ; but at present the area 
under this comparatively new project is only partly developed ; 
manure, labour and cattle are less plentiful than they should be ; 
and the ryots still adhere to the customs which prevailed before 
the project was completed and there was usually only water 
enough for one crop. They often waste so much time by putting 


off the preparation of the seed-beds and leaving the fields to eoak CHAP. IV. 

before beffinniuff to plouj^h, that the period loft tliem is insufficient Wet 

» ii 1.- -• p X Cultivation. 

lor the cultivation oi two crops. 

Where two crops are grown, they are called respectively the its culti^a- 
kodai and the Jcdlam crops. The cultivation of the former is bogun ^''^"" 
about the middle of June, at which time the Pcriydr water usually 
first comes down. Sometimes, however, the seed-beds are started 
before this, water raised from tanks or wells being used for them. 
Transplantation from seed-beds is the rule. The seed is usually 
soaked before being sown. Sowing broadcast is not uncommon, 
but is looked upon as bad farming. 

The actual processes of [jaddy cultivation are much the same 
as elsewhere. The land is first manured. Sheep or goats are 
penned thickly upon it and silt from tanks or channels, village 
rubbish and farm-yard manure are carted on to it. Cake is very 
seldom employed. Then the field is flooded and the manure 
turned in with the usual wooden plough. In the deep black soil 
common in Madura taluk the cattle sometimes sink so deeply that 
much ploughing is impossible, and there the land is turned over 
with the big hoe called the mamutti. When the field has been 
reduced to a state of slush, green leaf-manure is trodden or 
ploughed in. No special manurial crops or plants are grown ; 
dvdram (Gassia auriculata), virdli {Dodoncea vucosa,) and kultnji 
(wild indigo) are the leaves usually employed. Tf the soil is 
alkaline (soudu) more leaves and tank silt are used, and no sweep- 
ings or cattle manure. Finally the surface of the field is levelled 
by dragging over it a log called the |j«ra,)n6u. The seedlings 
are then transplanted by hand. A month afterwards, the crop is 
weeded, also by hand. Harvesting and threshing are performed 
in the usual manner. 

For the kodcti crop the inferior kinds of rice, which only remain its varieties, 
on the ground three months after transplantation, are usually 
grown. Perhaps the commonest sorts are sen kdr (-red kar ') 
and vellai kdr (' white kar ') and a two months' crop known as 
anwaddn kodai. When these have been harvested, the kdlam crop, 
which ought to have been (but is not always) sown meanwhile in 
the seed-beds, is planted out. This usually consists of the six 
months' crops known as sirumani{' little grain '), milagu (so called 
because it has a round grain like a pepper-corn), and vari garudan 
samba (' striped kite-coloured rice ') ; or the five months' varieties 
called kambau samba (so named from its resemblance to cambu) 
and tillaindyakam, a kind which has boon recently imported from 




CHAP. IV. other districts. Sirvmani and garudan .samba require a great deal 
nioro water than the other three, but yield abundantl3\ Kamban 
samba fetches a high price, hut the yield is less. This does best 
on red soil, while sirumani prefers low-lying black land. A four 
months' species called nan'yan ('stunted'), which required less 
water, used to be much grown, but since the advent of the Periyar 
water it has given way to the choicer kinds. It seems probable 
that now that there is an ample and certain supply of irrigation 
other still better sorts might be introduced and grown with success. 
This matter and the question of economising water would prob- 
ably repay investigation. At present the ryots raise the 
same stereotyped sorts of paddy and swamp their fields in the 
immemorial manner and are generally casual in their methods. 
Paddy is commonly raised year after year on the same land 
without rotation, though recently the rjots have begun to culti- 
vate sugar-cane or plantains every third or fourth year. 

The methods of dry cultivation in fashion in Madura differ 
little either with the nature of the soil or the kind of crop. It has 
already been seen (p. 12) that Tirumangalam is the only taluk 
in which any considerable area is covered with any soil except the 
red ferruginous sorts. The following statistics of the assessments 
per acre of the dry land of the district show how much more 
fertile the black land is than the red : — 




Percentage of assessed dry land which is assessed at 













M^liir ... 


Periyakulam ... 

District Tot .1 ... 


"' 1 
























Methods. Cultivation methods on this black soil differ in one respect 

from those adopted on the red. The former requires a thorough 
soaking before it will raise a crop and thereafter needs no further 
rain ; whereas the latter does not retain moisture well and so 
wants frequent showers. Consequently on the black soils the 


sowing season may be deferred to as late as October, when the CHAP. IV. 
land has received the heavy showers of tlie north-cast rains ; Dry 

whereas on the red land it must be begun in July or August ^"^"^""^'''^^'^'- 
so that the crops may receive the benefit of both monsoons.^ 
With this exception, cultivation on both the red and black soils is 
conducted in a similar manner. Contrary to the practice in the 
Deccan districts, the black soils are manured and irrigated (even 
from wells) in the same way as the red. 

Except in the fields cultivated under wells in the Palni taluk 
by the hard-working Vellalans and those in the cotton country in 
south Tirumangalam tilled by the Eeddis, the methods of culti- 
vating dry crops seem careless and unenterprising. First, the 
stubble of the last crop is ploughed in. Then such manure as is 
available is spread. Fields at a distance from the village get 
practically no manuring at all, being merely left fallow now and 
again to recuperate. Those nearer at hand are given village 
sweepings and farm- yard refuse, and sheep and goats are penned 
upon them ; but this only occurs once in every two or three years. 
Only the fields next the habitations are manured every year. 
Land under wells in Falni is treated, of course, with more care. 
The cattle are very usually penned at night on these fields and 
manure is carted to them from long distances. 

The manure having been applied, the land is ploughed three 
or fom- times with the usual wooden plough, which is somewhat 
bigger than that employed on wet land, Then, as soon as sufficient 
rain has fallen, sowing is effected by scattering the seed broadcast 
and laboriously ploughing the field again to cover it. Mixed 
crops are common. The seeds are mixed before they are sown. 
The larger grains, such as dholl, castor and beaus, are dropped 
separately one by one in a furrow made by the plough and then 
ploughed in separately. When the crop is about a foot high it is 
weeded by hand, a small hoe being used. Cholam and cambu are 
first thinned with the plough. Neither process is carefully carried 
out and the fields are often choked with weeds. The adoption of 
the Deccan methods of sowing with a drill, covering the seed with 
a scuffle and hoeiug the crop by bullock-power would seem likely to 
save much labour, do the work better, and have the additional 
advantage of allowing larger areas to be sown at the most favour- 
able moment, directly after a heavy shower. 

' Elaborate tables of the dates of seed-time and harvest for the vajioua 
crops in the different parts of the district will bo found in G.O,, No, 78I, Revcnno, 
dated 15th September 1897. 







Cholam is harvested by cutting it off close to the ground and 
then removing the ears. The straw is considered the best cattle 
fodder available. Cambu is gathsred by cutting off the ears only. 
If more rain falls the plants will then send out another crop of 
ears. The straw is thought to be bad for cattle and is seldom 
given them. Eagi is harvested in the same way, but the straw of 
this is regarded as nutritious. Samai and varagu are cut off flush 
with the ground. The straw of these is also rarely given to the 
cattle. Two crops in a year are raised on some of the best dry 
land by growing cambu first and then horse-gram or black gram, 
and round Vedasandur in Dindigul by sowing coriander or Bengal 
gram as the second crop ; but the practice is not common. 

Cholam is said to be an exhausting crop and is not sown twice 
running on the same land. It is usually followed by varagu, 
samai or horse-gram. Cambu does not do well if put in immedi- 
ately after cholam, but otherwise it will flourish for three years in 
succession in the same field. Varagu is also an exhausting crop, 
and cannot be grown successfully two years running on the same 
land unless manure is given it. 

Of the cotton of the district, between 80 and 90 per cent. 
is grown in the one taluk of Tirumangalam. The methods of 
cultivating the plant in the neighbouring taluk of Sattur to 
the south are described in much detail in Bulletin No. 19, 
Vol. I, of the Madras Department of Land Eecords and Agricul- 
ture, and the account there given is applicable to the practice 
in Tirumangalam. The crop is usually raised on the black soils, 
but the more clayey kinds of red land suit it also. The black 
soils are locally divided into four varieties ; namely, karisal 
(superior friable), veppal (inferior friable), kahkarai (stiff) and 
pottal (alkaline). Kakkarai resembles the deep regada soils of 
the Deccan districts, cracking greatly in the dry weather and 
requiring a good soaking before it can be ploughed. It is regarded 
as inferior to ka7v'sal, which requires little moisture to render it fit 
for ploughiug and is so friable that the roots of the cotton penetrate 
it easily. A local proverb says ' Sell even wet land to buy karisal.' 
Manure is only given once in six or seven years, and is then 
generally applied to the crop which follows the cotton, and not to 
the cotton itself. This is said to make the cotton crop more even, 
and better able to withstand a scarcity of rain. The tillage begins 
after the showers of June. Three ploughings are enough on clean 
land, but they are carried deeper than usual, a big atone being put 
on the plough to keep the share well down. The seed is generally 
bought from the dealers. It is sown broadcast from the beginning 


of August onwards and is ploughed in as usual. Before being CHAP. IV. 
sown it is rubbed in a paste of cowduug and water and then dried ^»^' 

in the sun. This prevents the seeds from sticking together. '_ 

Cotton is usually raised every other season, cambu or varagu being 
grown in the alternate years. 

The crop is weeded once with a pointed stick and hoed twice 
more afterwards with hand hoc*. It is scarcely ever irrigated. 
The first bolls begin to open about three months after sowing and 
the first picking begins throe weeks afterwards. The first pickings 
give an inferior sample, as they are mainly bolls which havo 
opened prematurely owing to the attacks of insects. Similarly the 
last pickings are inferior because the lint is leafy and spoiled by 
insects. Picking goes on from January to April and then again, 
after the May rains, up to August. The cotton is carefully stored 
in places where it will be free from damp, either in rooms, in houses, 
in circular wattle and daub granaries called pattarai or in circular 
bins made of mud and cambu chaff called kulukkai. It is usually 
sold uncleaned to middle-men, vho either get it ginned by women 
with the ordinary wooden roller-gin or sell it to the steam 
ginning-factories in the Tinnevelly district. It then passes to the 
presses at Virudupatti or elsewhere or is disposed of to the steam 
spinning-mill at Madura. Two varieties are recognised ; the 
uppam, which is grown on the best kartsal lands and yields the 
better crop, and ndttu, the indigenous variety, which is cultivated 
on the inferior soils. But the two are very often found mixed 
together. In the market the Tirumangalam cotton is known as 
' Tinnevellies.' It is one of the most highly prized of Indian 
cottons, being valued for its colour, which is very white. The 
staple is not particularly long, but the fibre is strong. 

The largest area under tobacco is in Dindigul taluk. Periya- Tobacco, 
kulam comes next, and then I 'alni. The plant must be irrigated, 
and thrives best in red soils under wells. Either the soil or the 
well-water or both must be alkaline, and if they are not so, alkaline 
earth is often carted on to the land. The experts are agreed ^ that 
the methods of cultivation and of collecting and curing tho leaf 
leave a great deal to be desired. The seed is sown in a specially 
prepared plot of luu'i and the seedlings arc afterwards transplanted. 
The seed-bed is often so carelessly flooded with water that some 
of the seeds aro buried too deep while others arc washed out 
of the ground, and tho surface of the bed is so caked all over that 

^ See Bulletin No. .5-3, vol. iii of the M^cUms Department of Lands Recoids 
and Agriculture, and G.O., No. 1063, Revenue, dated 23rd Septo.-nber 1904. 






germination ia checked. The seedling-s are transplanted when the 
leaves are three or four inches long-. This is done by flooding the 
seed-bed in the early morning, pulling up the plants, putting 
them in a covered basket in the shade till the evening, and then 
dibbling them in. The land is often made so wet that the 
seedlings rot, or these are dibbled in so loosely that they do not 
take root properly, or so close together that they damage one 

For tobacco growing the field must be deeply ploughed 
and well manured. Cowdung is carted on to it and sheep and 
cattle are penned on it. The seedlings are watered -every day at 
first, and afterwards at longer intervals. The crop is hoed when 
it has been about three weeks in the field and after five or six 
weeks the soil is broken up with a mamntti. In some villages 
liquid manure is applied at this period by tlirowing cowdimg into 
the irrigation channels. When the plants are nearly three feet 
high they are topped, and this makes the lower leaves increase in 
size. The suckers which this topping starts into growth are 
seldom sufficiently checked, however, and they weaken the plant 
greatly. After about three months the lowest leaves begin to 
turn spotted, and the plant is then considered to be ripe and is cut 
0&. close to the ground in tho evening. Half the leaves are still 
immature and it would probably be better only to pick the ripe 
leaves and not cut the whole plant down. The plants are 
collected early next morning and made into small circular heaps 
with the leaves inwards and the stalks outside. These are covered 
with straw and are left untouched for three days. The plants are 
then spread out on the ground for a short time and next hung up 
on horizontal poles. Every morning they are moved a little to let 
the air pass freely through them and at the end of fifteen or 
twenty days they are considered to be cured. This drying process 
is carelessly managed and some of the leaves rot and the others are 
not uniform in colour or dryness. When the leaves are considered 
to be dry, the plants are taken down from the horizontal poles 
and made into square heaps about two feet high, the stalks being 
laid cross-wise over each other in alternate rows. Every two or 
three days, these heaps are opened and re-made. The leaves 
ferment and change colour, and when a certain blackish tint is 
produced the fermentation ia considered to be finished and the 
leaves are stripped from the stalk and made up into bundles for 
sale. This process really requires most careful watching, to see 
that the heat reached is not too great and that the process is not 
stopped too soon or carried too far. But the ryot has no thermo- 
meter and leaves matters largely to chance, 



The whole sabject of the growth and curing of tobacco is now CHAP. iv. 
under the consideration of Government, who are endeavouring to ^^^ 

procure the assistance of experts to advise as to the directions in ' 

whicli improvements might bo possible. The manufacture of the 
cured leaves into cigars at Dindigul is referred to on p. 149. 

The proportion of the cultivated area of the district which Irrigatiox. 
is irrigated is higher than the normal for the Presidency. The 
statistics say that in ordinary seasons 27 per cent, of it is protected 
from famine and in all seasons ne&rly 22 per cent. Details for 
the different taluks, and figures showing the percentage of the 
wet area in each of these which is irrigated by the various classes 
of sources are appended : — 



Percentage of wet area 

which is irrigated 

respectively by 

Perceiitage of total 

cultivated area whicli 

is protected 









Other sources. 

In ordinary seasons, 
lu all seasons. 








District Total ... 




















It will be seen that the best protectei taluks are Madura and 
Mellir, which are served by the great Periydr project referred to 
later. Next come Palni, which is chiefly safe-guarded by its 
numerous excellent wells, and Perijaknlam, which also benefits 
from the Periydr water. At the bottom of the list is Tiruman- 
galam, where there are hardly any channels and very few wells. 

Though a large proportion of i\T^lijr is now safe from famine, 
the quality of the wet land in it is the poorest in the district, 
being mostly sandy red soil. This is clearly shown in the figiu'ea 




CHAP. IV. below, whicli give the percentage of the assessed wet land in each 
Irrigation, taluk which is assessed at each of the standard rates : — 



Percentage of assessed wet land which is 
assessed at 



































District Total ... 













3 2 









It will be seen that nine-tenths of the Melur wet land is 
assessed as lightly as Rs. 3-8-0 per acre and less. The highly- 
rated land shown in this table as situated in the Palni taluk is 
mainly that under the Shanmuganadi, one of the best sources in 
the district ; that in Madura is under the Vaigai channels and 
that in Periyakulam under anicuts on the Suruli. It will be seen, 
however, that less than a quarter of all the wet land in the district 
is charged more than Rs. 4-8-0 per acre. This low figure is due 
to the generally inferior nature of the irrigation sources. Exclud- 
ing the Periydr project, the best of these are those depending on 
tlie Vaigai aud Suruli, and they are only equal to the second 
best sources in the neighbouring districts of Coimbatore and 

Wells water no less than 27 per cent, of the total irrigated 
area in the district. The figures in the statement above show 
that the areas so irrigated are proportionally highest in Palni, 
Dindigul and Periyakulam. Madura and the south of Melur 
require few of these S3urces, as they are so bountifully supplied 
with channels, but the north of Melur contains a much smaller 
number of them than its circumstances warrant. Tlie soil there 
is certainly for the most part rocky, but the sub-soil water is said 
to lie at no great depth. 

The wells in Tirumangalam are usually small affairs, the chief 
expense connected with which is 1 he necessity of revetting their 
sides to prevent the loose earth of that part of the district from 
falling into ihem. Elsewhere the wells (except the ' supplementary' 



kind which are dug in wetlands to supplement tank irrigation) 
are usually deep and large pits sunk at great cost in hard soil or 
through rock. The only water-lifts in use are the ordinary 
picottah and double mhote. lu the case of the latter the bullocks 
are always backed up the ramp after drawing up the bucket, and 
never detached and led round to the top of the slope in the 
convenient manner so common in the Dcccan districts. The 
buckets are either made of leather throughout or consist of an ii-on 
basin with a leather continuation. 

Except the Periyar project referred to later, practically the 
whole of the irrigation works of the district, other than the wells, 
were made in the days of native rule. Old manuscripts say that 
very many of them were constructed by the numerous poligars 
among whom the country was divided up, and there is no record 
of the central government at Madura 'having constructed any of 
them. Perhaps for this reason, they are all of them small affairs. 
There exist none of the bold projects seen here and there in the 
Deccan districts — the Cumbuni and Daroji tanks for instance — 
where a great embankment has been thrown across a valley and a 
whole river dammed back. The largest scheme was the Poranai 
anient across the Vaigai which has now been replaced by the 
regulator which controls the irrigation from the Periyar. Except 
this Pcn-iyar project, there is not a single work in all Madura which 
comes under any of the first three of the four main classes into 
which irrigation works arc divided; and though the numerous small 
tanks and channels which irrigate the wet land of the district 
are important collectively, they are individually uninteresting. 
Statistics of the Revenue department show that out of a total of 
4,580 minor works, no less than 2,846 irrigate less than ten acres, 
and another 1,142 water more than ten but less than 50 acres. 
The local distribution of these minor works is as vmdcr : — 


Tanks and 


Under 50 

50 to 500 





Kodaikanal ... ... 


Periyakulam ... 




















CHAP. IV. It will be seen that the very great majority of tbem lie in the 

Irrigation, two taluks of Diiidigul and M elur. Spring channels, which in 

some districts are such important sources, are in Madura dug only 

in the hod of the Vaigai. The other rivers are little more than 

jungle-streams, and have no underflow worth mention. 

The rivers of the district and the areas which they respectively 
drain have been mentioned on pp. 10-12 above. The distribution 
among these basins (and the minor basins of which they are made 
up) of the irrigation works which are supplied from rivers and 
theii' tributaries, and particulars of the rivers on which these works 
severally depend, are shown in the following statement ^ : — 




3 . 



fc ■» 

>■ . 


o ••- 

O 00 


^ § 




Minor basin. 




O -tj 

CD -t3 

3 m 

r^ rt 

cj S 

1 1 
D a 

a % 

p s 

t § 





Tirumangalam ... 

Gundar .. 





Varattar ... 



] 7,374 









Shanmuganadi and 
its tributaries.the 




Palni ... -{ 



Varadamanadi ... 


Porandalar and 

2 1 






Nallatangi and a 









Lower Kodaviinar ... 

Kodavanar and tri- 

















Varahanadi and 






Vaigai and tribu- 





M an j alar and tri- 






Mid Vaigai. 

Solavandan ... 




Included in the first of these minor basins, that of Tiruman- 
galam, is the Nilaiyur channeL which takes off from the Vaigai 
below the Chittanai and supplies 5,998 acres directly or indirectly. 

^ Compiled from particulars kindly furnished by M.R.Ry. A. V. Eama- 
Jinga Aiyai, b.a., b.c.e., Executive Engineer of Madura district. 


The land under this is tho only part of the district in which the cilAP. IV. 
Voluntary Irrigation Cess is levied. Irrigation. 

Connected with the Lower Grundar hasiu arc seven channels 
from the Vaigai which are supplied by koramlnix, or temporary 
dams made uf brushwood and earth which are renewed every 

In the Palni minor hasin, all hut two of the channels have head 
sluices. The most important of thom are the Aiyampalle anient 
across the t'alar, which irrigates 3,8GG acres, and the Kottai dam 
on the Varadamauadi or Varattar, which supplies 2,175 acres. It 
is proposed to dam up tho Poraudalar river in this basin and 
its tributary the Pachaiyar and to form a reservoir which would 
incrcaso the supply in this area. The scheme, however, is a 
protective rather than a productive project. 

In the Dindigul minor basin, eight of the anicuts have head 
sluices. The most important of them is the Attur dam, which 
waters 9 13 acres. 

In the Suruli minor basin the chief anicuts are the Uttamuttu, 
Palaiyamparavu and Chinuamaniir dams, which irrigate respec- 
tively 2,469, 2,451 and 1,GG6 acres. All but two of the anicuts in 
this area have head sluices. 

In the Periyakulam minor basin, on tho other hand, none 
of the anicuts have any head works. The best of them, that at 
Talattukovil, supplies 2,131 acres. 

Irrigation from the Varahauadi in this tract \\ill shortly be 
improved by the Berijam project recently sanctioned. The Berijam 
swamp lies on the top of the Palnis about twelve miles south- west 
of Kodaikanal at an elevation of 7,100 feet. It is about two 
miles long, runs nearly north and south, and is situated on the 
water-parting of the Falni range, so that the southern portion of it 
drains into the Varahauadi and the northern into the Amaravati. 
The project, which was first suggested by Col. Pennycuick, c.s.i., 
R.E.J in 18?57, consists in throwing dams across both ends of the 
swamp and forming a reservoir with a capacity of 77^ million 
cubic feet to increase the supply in the Varahauadi. The estimate 
amounts to Rs. 54,500. 

In the Andipatti minor basin lies the uppermost anient on the 
Vaigai, that at Kunnur. 

Of the anicuts in the Vattilagundu batin the chief is that at 
A^'yampaiaiyam which supplies 971 acres. 

In the Solavanddn minor basin are included the Tenkarrti 
channel which takes of^ from the Chittanai dam across the Vaigai, 




The Periyar 

2^ miles below the Peranai, and supplies land on the south bank 
of the river, and also several spring channels which are excavated 
to tap the underflow in the same river. 

Particulars similar to those in the above statement are not 
available for the small area included in the basins of the Tiru- 
mauimuttdr and Palar in Melur taluk, as this is only now 1)eing 
examined by the Tank Restoration party. Madura was the first 
district in which the Tank Restoration Scheme was begun, but the 
Melur taluk was not finished at the sime time as the rest of it 
because it was not then clear how much of it would be affected by 
the Periyar project. 

Tiie great Periyar project already several times referred to 
consists, to state the matter very briefly, in damming the Pcriydr 
('big river') which flows down the western slope of the Grhats, 
through country possessing a superabundant rainfall, and turning 
the water back, by a tunnel through the watershed, down the dry 
eastern slope of the Ghats to irrigate the parched up plains on that 
side of the range. According to Captain Ward's Survey Account 
of 1815, the first person to suggest this schenre was Muttu Arula 
Pillai, prime minister of the Pamnad liaja, who in 1798 sent 
' twelve intelligent men ' to enquire into its possibility. They 
reported in favour of it, but funds were lacking. In 1 808 Sir 
James (then Captain) Caldwell, the District Engineer, reported, 
after a cui'sory examination, that the scheme was impracticable. 
The matter, however, continued to be discussed, and in 1867 it was 
brought forward by Major EyveS; R.E., in a practical form. He 
proposed to construct an earthen dam 162 feet high across the 
Periyar and turn back the water down a cutting through the 
watershed. His idea was merely to divert the river, and not to 
store its waters. He estimated the cost of the matter at 17| lakhs. 
From 1868 to 1870 Colonel (then Lieutenant) Pennycuick, R.E., 
and afterwards Mr. R. Smith, investigated the scheme and a com- 
plete project, estimated to cost 54 lakhs, was drawn up which 
involved important modifications of Major Ryves' proposals, 
among them the transfer of the site of the dam to a point seven 
miles lower down the river. I 'oubts arose as to the practicability 
of constructing so huge an embankment of earth, and it was not 
until l^SZ that Colonel Pennycuick's proposal to build a masonry 
dam was accepted, and he was directed to revise the plans and 
estimates for the whole project. The scheme he drew up included 
a great masonry dam across the Periyar, a huge lake, and a tunnel 
through the watershed. It was sanctioned in 1884 and work was 
begun late in 1887. The estimate for direct charges was 62 lakhs. 


The site of the dam and lake are in Travaneore territory and it CHAP.I7. 
was agreed that the British Grovernment should pay an annual Irrigation. 
rent of Rs. 40,000 for a certain specified area and certain defined 
rights, and that the lease sho'ild run lor 999 years with the option 
of renewal. Sovereign rights over the tract were reserved by the 
'JVavancore State. 

The immense difficulties which arose and were overcome during 
the actual construction of the great project are detailed in the 
History of the Periijdr Project (Madras Government Press, 1899) 
by Mr. A. T. Mackenzie, one of the Engineers who helped to 
carry it through. The site of the works was an unhealthy 
jungle 3,000 feet in elevation, where rain and malaria rendered 
work impossible for a considerable portion of the year, where even 
unskilled labour was unobtainable, and to which every sort of plant 
and nearly all material had to be transported at great cost from 
a railway 76 miles off and up a steep ghat road. A canal was 
constructed from the top of the ghat to the site of the dam to meet 
this latter difficulty, and later an overhead wire ropeway, driven by 
a turbine, was put np from the foot of the ghat to the head of the 
canal. The difficulty of laying the foundations for a dam in a 
river of such magnitude (the discharge is equal to half the average 
flow of Niagara) and liable to such sudden and heavy freshes (one 
of these registered 120,000 cusecs) was immense, and at first 
the work was swept away again and again. The ope ations were 
described by the Chief Knginoer, Col. Pennycuiek, as the most 
anxious, difficult and exhausting of any which had come within his 
experience. After the foundations were all in. further immense 
difilcvdty occurred in passing the ordinary flow of the river and the 
constant high freshes without damage to the masonry of the dam. 
After many expedients had been tried, this was eventually 
effected through a tunnel or culvert in the body of the dam itself, 
which was afterwards closed and plugged. On the left of the dam 
a stnaller extension 2"21 feet long was built to close a di)) in the 
ground, and an escape 434 feet in length was made on the right. 
The main dam was practically finished by October 18i'5. Includ- 
iug the parapets, it is 1 7o feet above the bed of the river, 1,241 
feet long, 144 feet 6 inches wide at the bottom and 12 feet wide 
at the top. The front and rear walls are of rubble masonry and 
the interior is filled with concrete in surki mortar. The lake 
impounded by it covers moro than 8,000 acres and has a maxi- 
mum possible depth of 17G feet. 

The passage through the watershed consists of an open cutting 
or approach 5,342 feet long, a tunnel 5,704 feet long', and another 

128 MADURA, 

CHAP. IV open cutting or debouchure 500 feet long-. The approach is 21 feet 
Irrigation, wide. The tunnel is 1 2 feet wide by 7|- feet high and has a 
gradient of I in 75. It was all blasted through solid rock, 
machine drills driven by compressed air supplied by a turbine 
plant being employed. A sluice-gate (Stoney's patent) at the 
head of it controls the outflow. From the lower end of it the 
water hurls itself down the face of the hill into a stream called 
the Vairavandr, w hence it flows into the Suruli and thence into 
the Vaigai. It has long been suggested that the great head 
obtainable at the outfiill, 900 feet in a length of 6,800 feet, might 
be Titilised for driving turbines for the generation of electricity. 
One difRculty is that the water is only required for irrigation for 
nine or ten months in the year, whereas for any scheme for the 
production of electrical power on commercial lines it would need to 
be passed through the tunnel all the year round. The waste of 
water which this would involve could, however, be obviated by the 
construction of a reservoir on the plains, below the outfall and the 
power-s<^ation, and the feasibility of this is under examination. 

On the Suruli and Vaigai there are several ancient anicuts, and 
the supply at these has of cours3 been increased since the Periyar 
water was passed into the rivers, but the mass of the water is not 
utilised until it reaches the Peranai (' big dam ') anient which 
crosses the Vaigai about 5^ miles due south of Nilabkottai, and 86 
miles from the mouth of the tunnel, where the river changes its 
course to the south-east. This Peranai is an old native work which 
fed a channel on the north bank of the river called the Vadakarai 
channel. A groat deal of silt collected above it and choked the 
river bed and the new main channel, and it has now been replaced 
by a regulator constructed on modern principles and possessing ten 
vents of 40 feet each, fitted with Colonel Smart's counterbalanced 
shutters which can be raised to allow the free passage of dangerous 
floods and lowered at other times to hold up water to the height 
required. From this regulator leads off the main canal, which 
passes through a head sluice of six vents of twenty feet span. 
This runs nearly due eastwards almost as far east as the town of 
Melur, is nearly 38 miles long, is six feet deep and has a carrying 
capacity of 2,016 cusecs at the head. The courses of the twelve 
branches which take off from it are shown in the accompanying 
map of the area served by the project. Their total length is 
nearly 68 miles. 

The project was opened in October 1895 by Lord Wenlock, 
then Governor of Madras. The construction estimate was closed 
on the Slat March 18'J7 and the direct expenditure up to then had 




Showing main & branch channels. 


\ D anoadimanoalAM 

Photo-Print. Survey Wtice. Madras, 



amounted to 81"30 lakhs, made up of 42-26 lakhs for the head 
works (the dam and tunnel), 18'43 lakhs for the n)ain canals, 
branches and distributaries, and 20'ol for establishment and tools 
and plant- Other works remain to be carried out which, as far as 
can at present bo foreseen, will brint^ the total cost to nearly 100 
lakhs. The culturable area commanded consists of 100,000 acres 
of first crop and 51,000 acres of second crop on Government land, 
and 130,000 and 9,000 acres of first and second crop respectively on 
zamin and whole inam wet land. The assessment rates on the 
Government land commanded were raised, in accordance with an 
announcement made at the time of tbc last Settlement (see p. 202), 
to those payable under irrigation sources of the first class adopted 
for the disti'ict, and zamin and whole inam wet lands are charged 
Bs. 4 per acre for a first wet crop and Rs. 3 for a second. A 
Special Deputy Collector is in chai'ge of the supply of water to 
these latter, of the collection of the assessment on them, the dis- 
bursement of loans to ryots, and other special ma.tters connected 
with the project. The total areas actually irrigated since the first 
year in which the project came into opei ation are given in the 

margin. The net profit at 

CUAF. 17. 


Area actually irrigated 




























present on the existing total 
capital outlay is 4- 08 per cent. 
A project of this magnitude 
takes some time to attain its 
utmost extension. Ryots have 
emigrated from Coimbatore, 
Tinnevelly and Trichinopoly to 
the land commanded by it, but 
the supply of labour and cattle 
is still unequal to the demand ; 
the obliteration of the former cart-tracl?s has necessitated the design- 
ing of a system of new cross-roads, but these are not yet finished ; 
this difficulty of transport has madf? manure, which is always 
scarce in this area, more expensive than ever ; drainage channels 
are required, but have not all been carried out yet ; and the ryots, 
as already explained, have not yet adapted themselves to the now 
state of affairs but continue to grow one crop where they might 
raise two, to supersaturate their land to the detriment of the yield, 
and to avoid, instead of reclaiming, the patches of alkaline land 
which exist. When the whole area commanded by the project 
has been taken up and the extension of second-crop cultivation 
begins in earnest, the project will scarcely be able to supply 






condition of 


sufficient water for tlie demand. In order to increase the storage 
capacity of the lake and at the sane time render the dam safe 
against extraordinary floods, an estimate has now been sanctioned 
for lowering the escape on the right, wbich is at present 14 feet 
below the crest of the dam, by 8 feet and erecting across it a 
regulator fitted with movable shutters IG feet high. These will be 
raised during dangerous floods and thus increase the waterway 
on the escape, and lowered at other times. They will raise the full 
supply level of the lake by eight feet and its storage capacity by 
2,361 millions of cubic feet. 

In O.S. No. 22 of 11)01 on the file of the West Sub-Court of 
Madura, Mr. Eobert Fischer (as proprietor of riparian villages on the 
Vaigai below the Peranai), the Lessees of the Eamnad. and Siva- 
ganga zamindaris and the minor Kaja of Eamnad brought a suit 
against the Secretary of State in connection with the buildmg 
of the new regulator at the Peranai and the constraction of the new 
main channel. They claimed that their rights as riparian pro- 
prietors lower down the \' aigai were in j uriously affected by these 
works, and prayed for a decree declaring, among other things, that 
Government had no right to erect the regulator or excavate the 
channel and requiring them to remove the one and either close 
the other or reduce it to the size of the old Vadakarai channel. 
The suit was dismissed in October 19j3, but an appeal has been 
preferred to the High Court. 

It remains to note the economic condition of the agriculturist 
of the district. It is sufficient to take his case by itself for the 
reason that he constitutes nearly three-fourths of the total popula- 
tion and that the remaining fourth depend for their welfare directly 
upon his prosperity and spending power. Statistics go to show 
that the Madura ryot is usually a farmer in a very small way. 
Of the pattas of the district, as many as 73 per cent, are for amounts 
as small as Ks. 10 and less, and another 20 per cent, for sums 
between Rs, 10 and Hs. 30 ; the average size of a holding is under 
six acres ; and the average assessment thereon is just over Rs. 10. 
But these figures are probably largely affected by the large number 
of Kalians who reside within the district. These people seldom 
farm in earnest, but live largely by blackmailing and theft. They 
are among the first to feel the pinch of a bad season, and, were 
they not accustomed to thieve then with more than usual energy 
and to emigrate light-heartedly with all their belongings to 
Eangoon and Ceylon, they would constitute a cuust.-'nt source of 
anxiety. Excluding these people, the Madura ryot appears to be 
comfortable enough. The wealth of the capital of the district has 


no doubt led common repute to assess the well-bcicg of the rest of CHAP. 17 
the country at a hi<^her standard than the circumstances warrant ; Economic 
but the fact that since the famine of 1876-78 no relief-works agricul- 
or gratuitous relief have been necessary is significant. In the tlristb. 
quinquennium 1897-1901 the average area cultivated was 22 per 
cent, greater than tho average for the five years 1871-1875 
and the land assessment paid was 24 per cent, greater. During 
this period the population increased by 29 per cent., and it would 
therefore appear that tho people are multiplying dangerously faster 
than the means of subsistence. But during this same period the 
Periyar irrigation has rendered available for the cultivation of rice 
much land which formerly bore only precarious dry crops, and has 
resulted in two crops being raised on considerable areas where 
only one grew before. Wells have increased enormously and have 
not only enabled a omp to be grown with certainty where cultiva- 
tion was formerly a gamble, but have permitted the planting of 
such valuable staples as tobacco in place of the dry crops and pulses 
with which the ryots were formerly content. C-redit is sufficiently 
cheap. The Nattukottai Cbettis abound, and in Madura is the 
Hindu Permanent Fund, capital Es. 2,99.964, which was started 
on 1st February 1894, moved in 1902 into the substantial office 
near the west gojmram of the temple which was opened in March 
of that year by Lord Ampthill, and possesses a constantly increas- 
ing clientele. Ela-nidhis, or chit associations, are also numerous. 
The members of these agree to subscribe a fixed sum each month for 
a fixed period and lots are cast monthly to decide who shall take 
the whole of it. A man who once wins tho pool is debarred from 
competing for it again but is obliged, of course, to go on with his 
monthly subscription until the end of the fixed period The parts 
of tho district which stand most in need of improvement at present 
are the Kalian tracts in the north of Melur, the adjoining area in 
Dindigxil and the north-west of Tirumangalam taluk. In the two 
former of these it seems, from official reports, that much might be 
done by increasing tho number of wells. For the last the best 
hope at present lies in the chance of the supply in the Periydr lake 
being sufficiently increased to a*^ "Tnit, of a channel being led to it 
from the Peranai regulator. 





Beginnings of conservancy- -The Forest Act of 1882— The existing forests— Their 
position — Their characteristics — In the east and south of the district — On 
the slopes of the Falnis— On the Palni plateaus— In the Kambam valley- • 
Plantations— Minor produce — (rrazing-fees — Working plans: in the four 
eastern taluks — In the Kambam valley. 

CHAP, V. It was not until the middle of tho last century that any attempt 

Forests. was made to conserve the valuable forests of the district. Up till 

n • ~ „<■ 1852, any one was allowed to fell any timber he chose, anywhere, 
r>eginninf(s oi ' -* - . 

conservancy, without let or hindrance, and the jangles were being rapidly 
destroyed and stripped of all their choicf'st trees. In that year 
orders were issued prohibiting felling without a license from the 
Eevenue authorities, but no foe was charged for this permission 
and it was freely granted even to the timber-merchants who cut 
down wood wholesale and exported it to Tanjore, Tiichinopoly and 
other districts w^hich had no forests of their own. The only 
revenue derived from the forests was the proceeds of the leases cf 
jungle produce, and in 1854 the oppression by official underlings 
of the hill tribes who collected these products led to the abolition 
of even this source of profit. 

In 1856 Mr. Parker, the then Collector, brought to notice the 
great value of the growth in the Kambam valley and the futility 
of the existing orders for its protection, and two years later 
Government made a first beginning in conservation by forbidding 
the destructive methods by which plantain growing was carried 
on in tho Palni hills. This cwltivatiou consisted in clearing a 
space in the forest by felling and burning every tree within it, 
roughly ploughing in the aslies, and patting out the plantain 
CU' tings in the rich soil thus renlered available ; after a few years 
the patch tluis cleared was abandoned and another was treated in 
the same way ; and since t'le abandoned clearings hardly ever 
produced good forest again, but merely relapsed into thorny wastes, 
thousan'ls of acres of excellent jungle had thas been mined. 

In 18 o7 Lieutenant (afterwards Oolonol) Beddome, one of the 
first of the Assistant Conservators of Forests, visited the Palnis and 
sent in a report on the rapid denudation of their forests which 


was proceeding and also an elaborate list of tlioir flora.' Ho said CHAP. v. 
that almost all tho bij^f^er teak and blackwood trees had already Forests. 
been fellod; that even saplings of these varieties were being 
carried off for post^ ; that vengai was similarly carted away in 
large quantities ; and that, in short, hardly any of the forest on 
any part of the range had not been rathlessly ruined. 

In 1860 one forest overseer, salary Es. 80, was posted to tho 
Kambani valley and in 1802 he was given a subordinate establish- 
ment costing Rs. 100 a month. . The meagre scale of this is 
sufficiently indi^vitod by t'lo f.i,;t that for tho whole of the Palni 
hills only two peons on Rs. o each wore proposed, one for tho 
Upper Range and one for the Lower. The ' Forest department ' 
thus constituted took charge of the more important woodlands of 
tho district (including th'se of the Palnis. tho Kainbam vallov and 
the Karandamalais) and its duties were defined to bo the accom- 
plishment of strict con^ervan'iv and the satisfaction of the timber 
requirements of the Pablio Works depar;raent Some of tho 
forests were ad ninistore i entirely l)y t, and others were worked 
on an improve 1 edition of the oil license system, permission to 
fell being granted by tho Forest Officer on payment to the Revenue 
department of ff^es varying with the nature of tho tree ; trees of 
certain varieties reserved for their special value leing marked 
officially before being cut down (so as to protect saplings) ; and 
the timber felled being checked at certain tannahs by 'Forest 
taunah police.' Ryots were allowed to fell umeserved trees within 
their village boundaries free of chnrge if they v.'anted them for 
agricultural pui-posos. Side by side with the forests jilaced under 
the newly constituted establishment were others controlled in a 
Vague way by the Jungle Conseivancy cepartment, tis it wps 
called, under the Collector. 

None of those three systems can be said to have worked 
successfully. Much of the duty of conservation was left to the 
revenue officers, who had other duties which already engrossed all 
their attention and were unable adequately to check frauds by 
village officers and others or unauthorised felling by ryots; and 
even in the jungles which were s[)ccially under tbo Forest depart- 
ment there was a lack of systematic working and intcdligent 
provision for the future. In 1871 the Collector (there was a good 
deal of friction in those earl}' days between the iveveune and tho 
Forest authorities) said that in the west of tho district tho depart- 
ment's operations ' apparently consisted of purchasing timber at a 

' Both these were published liy ord(>r of Goveiniiicnt in MJ.L.S. (18.18), xix, 
N.S., 163 ff. 

134 MADURA. 

CHAP. V. fixod rate per cubic foot from the woodcutters and selling it to the 
Forests. general public at 100 per cent, profit There was not the slightest 
chock on the woodcutters.^ 

In the years which immediately followed, the expected needs of 
the extension of the Soutli Indian Railway (or ' Grreat Southern 
India ' line as it was called in those days) led to increased interest- 
in the Madura forests, but the reports show that real conbcrvation 
was far from being attained, illicit felling and the clearing of 
jungle for plantniii gardens on the Lower Palnis going on much as 
before. A good deal of land was also cleared on this range and 
on the Sirumalais for coffee gardens of an ephemeral kind which 
wore abandoned soon after they were opened. 

In 1(S71 a small forest establishment was specially sanctioned 
for the Lower Palnis, and much debate took place regarding the 
possibility of taking up certain tank-beds in Tirumangalam for 
plantaHons of babul {Acacia arahica) and V' Ivelam (A. leucophlcea) ; 
of renting on Government behalf the forests on the Palnis which 
belonged to the Kannivadi and Ayakkudi zamindaris and those on 
the Sirumalais which were included in the Ammayanayakkanur 
estate ; and of inducing the Travaneore Darbar to bring some of 
its timber to a dep8t to be established at Kambam. Confidence in 
the Forest department was, however, still so small that the Court of 
Warils, which at that time was managing the jungles in the Gan- 
tamanayakkantir and Bodin^yakkanur zamindaris during the 
min irity of their proprietors, declined to entrust these areas to the 
Forest officials. These and the other zamindafi jungles were (as, 
indeed, thoy still are) a continual source of difficulty. Their exact 
boundaries were so little known and they so dovetailed with the 
Govei'umenfc forests that fires started in them spread to the latter ; 
they rendered smuggling from the reserves a very simple affair ; 
and they undersold the Forest department by reckless felling when- 
ever a demand for timber or firewood arose. Their boundaries 
were subsequently ascertained and marked out by the Survey 
department, but in several cases appeals and suits followed which 
were not jfinally settled for a long period. 

In 1880 a Committee composed of Mr H. J. Stokes (the 
Collector), Major Campbell Walker (Deputy Conservator on special 
duty) and Mr. Gass (Deputy Conservator of the district) definitely 
selected 21 areas measuring 285 square miles (some of it within 
zamindaris) which they proposed to constitute reserves and clearly 
demarcate as such. No very definite action was taken on this body's 
proposals, but they constituted an important foundation for the 
proceedings which were subsecjuently initiated. Grazing-fees were 



instituted for tlio first time in accoi-dance with a rccoinmondation CHAP. V. 
by this Committee. Forests. 

In 1882 the Madras Forest Act was passed into law, the ..liniglc ,j.j^g Forest 
Conservancy department came to an end, and reservation and con- Act of lh«2. 
servancy were at last put on a regular footing. As in other 
districts, the first step taken under this enactment was the ' forest 
settlement,' or the selection, demarcation, mapping and formal 
notification of all areas to be reserved, including the enquiry into 
and adjudication upon all claims over them (such as rights ol way, 
cultivation or pasturage and the like) which were put forward by 
private individuals. 

As elsewhere, it was originally intended to divide all forests 
into three classes; namely, (1) reserved forests, in which all claims 
were to be settled under the Act ; (2) reserved lands, which were 
t.o be reserved subject to all rights that might le asserted, i.e , the 
claims to rights in them remained unsettled ; and {6) village 
forests, which were intended to meet the requirements of villages in 
localities where the custom of free-grazing and the tree collection 
of firewood and leaves for maunre had long and steadily obtained. 
In 1890, however, a further step in advance was made, and it was 
determined that all land which was to be protected at all should be 
formally settled under the Act and constituted ' reserved forest.^ 
The proposed scheme of village forests was abandoned as impiac- 
ticable, but villagers wi re allowed their old privileges over unre- 
served lands, except that they might not cut reserved or clast^ified 
trees without permission. 

The figures in the margin show the cjctcnt and situation of the The existing 

reserved forests as they have *'^'''^*^^- 
been finally notified under the 
Act.^ It will be seen that 
the largest areas are in the 
taluks of Kodaikanal, Periya- 
kulam and Melur, and the 
smallest in lirumaugalam and 
Palni, in both of which latter 
the extent is quite insignifi- 
cant. The reserves were 
nearly all surveyed by the 
Government of India Survey 
between i8!^8 and 1891 on a 
scale of 4 inches to the mile. 


Area iu 
square miles 
of reserved 


age to 
area of 





Kodaikanal ... 



District Total 










* Includes 9 square miles ' proiJOhcd 
for reservation.' 

^ For assistance with the rest cf this chapter I am greatly indebted tc 
Mr. H. B. Brjant, District Forest 0S5cer. 







Tlio Madura forests differ widely from those in bome places 
^ South ( uimbatore and Tmnovelly, for example) in that they are 
not situtited all in one block but are scattered about all c^ver the 
dit^trict with cultivation and zamin forests everywhei-e interveniug 
among them. Broadly speaking, they m^ay be readily and con- 
veniently grouped iiito four main classes : First, the open and 
deciduo\is growth on the plains and slopes of the low hills in the 
Madura, Molur, Dindigul and Tirumangalam talaks in the east 
and south of the district, which cannot be expected to yield 
anything in the shape of timber for many years to come, but are 
of great value for the supply of grazing, leaf manure, firewood, 
charcoal, and poles and other small building material ; secondly, 
the deciduous forest on the north and south slopes of the Palnis, 
which formerly contained large quantities of valuable timber trees, 
especially vengai, but has been very exteusively felled and damaged 
by unrestricted loppiug and grazing ; thirdly, the evergreen for- 
este on the plateaus of the Upper and Lower Palnis ; and fourthly 
(the most valuable, as forests, of the whole) the Kambam valley 
jungles, yielding teak, tengai and t^lackwood {Balbergia iutifolia) 
and numerous other timber trees only second to them in value. 

A very large proportion of these woodlands, however, is unfortu- 
nately included in zamindari estates and is not under the control 
of the Forest department. The plat(^au and the western slopes of 
the Sirutnalais belong to the Ammayanayakkantir estate ; large 
areas on the northern slopes of the Palnis appertain to the 
Eettayambadi and Ayakkudi zamindaris ; ail the eastern end of 
the same range up to the western boundary of Dindigul taluk is 
the property of the zamindar of Kannivadi ; a great slice of the 
forests on the western side of the Kambam valley belongs to 
Bodinayakkanur and Tevaram ; and, except a comparatively small 
area at the head of the faame valley and another' just east of 
Andipafti, the whole of the Varushanad and Andipatti hills are 
included in the estates of Gantaraanayakkanur, Erj.sakkanayakka- 
mir, SapKir and Doddappanayakkanur. The hill ranges and the 
boundaries of the various proprietary estates are shjwn in the map 
at the end of this volume, and roughly it may be said that the 
Government reserves now occupy the hills of the district less the 
are IS on them which are zamindari laud. 

A short account msy bo given of the chief characteristics of the 
growth iu the Government forests in each of the four groups into 
which they have been above arranged. 'J'he hills on which they 
stand have already been briefly described above on pp. 3 to 9. 


The chief forests iu the four taluks in the east and south of the CHAP. y. 
district are those on the northern, eastern and south-eastern slopes Forests. 
of the Sirumalais (the rest of this range, as has been said, belongs j^ ,j~ — 
to the zamindar of Ammayanajakkanur), on the Alagarmalais to andsDuthof 
the east of them, the Perumalais and Manjamalais connecting '^^ district, 
these two ranges, on the Karandamalais to the north of them, the 
scattered Nattam hills to the east of these last and the hills just 
south of the Ailur railway -station. There are small plateaus on 
the top of the Sirumalais, Perumalais and Karandamalais, but the 
other hills consist of narrow ridges with steep, stony sides on which 
there is no depth of soil and on which, in consequence, any seed- 
lings which may come up are quickly scorched to death in the hot 
weather. On all these hills the growth (which is all deciduous) 
was cut to ribbons in the days before conservation began. In 
1871 it was reported that almost every stick had been cleared as 
far as the base of, and for a considerable distance up, the slopes of 
the Sirumalais. The northern side of the Manjamalais has been 
largely cleared for plantain-gardens and (judging from the amount 
of slag still lying about them) the Karandamalais and their 
immediate neighboiirs must have suffered much from the cutting 
of timber for the smelting^ in former years, of the iron ore which 
is found iu them. 

Almost nine-tenths of the growth on the hills in these eastern 
and southern taluks is now Albizzia amara, which is said to owe 
its escape from destruction to the fact that goats do not care about 
it. These enemies of the forests are very numerous in this part 
of the district, as until recently Dindigul was a great tanning 
centre, and under recent orders they have been admitted to the 
reserves in such large nimibers that the grazing-fee receipts have 
bounded up fromEs. 15,000 in 1900-01 to Es. 29,000 in 1904-05. 
Next to Albizzia^ the prevailing species are Acacias, Wrightta, 
Cassia, Randia and Carissa, but a stunted growth of certain of the 
more valuable timber species is found in places. Teak, vengai, 
blackwood, the hard and heavy Hardwickia binata, Tenninalia 
tomentosa, satinwood [Chloroxyhn Swietenia) and other varieties 
are fairly plentiful, for example, in the 'pole areas,' as they are 
called, in the Alagarmalais and elsewhere, and many gall-nut 
trees {Tenninalia chebula) are iomid throughout the area. About 
Aillir the striking-looking ' umbrella tree ' {Acacia jjlantfrom) is 
conspicuous. All these reserves are already greatly the better for 
the conservation accorded them, the southern slopes of the Alagar- 
malai, facing Madura, which were formerly quite bare, showing a 
specially notable improvement. A road has been driven through 






Ou the slopes 
of the Palnis. 

On the Palni 

the reserves on tliis hill, eight miles in length, from the forest 
rest-house at Miin6r on the south to that at Patnam on the north. 

The forests in the second of the above four groups, those on the 
slopes of the Palnis, are also deciduous and have also been greatly- 
damaged in past years by indiscriminate felling and burning, so 
that but little real timber now remains among them. The two 
best portions of them are probably that in the north-east corner of 
the range, between the Ayakkudi and Kannivadi estates, where 
the soil is unusually good, and that at the north-west corner, in the 
Manjapatti valley, an inaccessible and very feverish tract sloping 
down from the great Kukal shola to the Amaravati river. On the 
prominent Aggamalai spur immediately west of Periyakulam town 
is a beautiful shola called the Tambirakanal, which affords an 
uncommon example of a tract of forest which has been able 
to recover from the felling and burning which accompanies hill 
cultivation. Land so treated seldom again becomes clad with real 
forest, but turns into a rank, thorny wilderness of worthless 
impenetrable scrub. The commonest trees on these Palni slopes 
are vengai {Pterocarpus Marsupium) and vekkali {Anogeissus 
M'ifoUa), but the white and red cedars and some teak and 
blackwood occur, and gall-nut trees are numerous. 

The third of the three groups, the forests of the Lower and 
Upper Palni plateaus, are more valuable and contain evergreen 
trees. The line between the two plateaus is roughly that drawn 
north and south through Neutral Saddle. The woodlands in the 
Lower Palnis, as has already been seen, have been greatly cut 
about for plantain and coffee cultivation. Much cardamom grow- 
ing also goes on among them ; but as this plant flourishes best 
under heavy shade, the larger forest trees have not been so greatly 
interfered with in the areas where it is raised. The soil in this 
tract is a dark loam, especially rich in the valleys, and in this 
several fine sholas of large extent still survive undamaged and thrive 
well. Among the more important trees in these are Vitex altissma, 
the so-called ' red cedar ' (Acrocarpus fraxim/olius), and Cedrela 
ioona, the last two of which are very useful for planking and 
box-making. Gall-nut trees are plentiful everywhere. 

To the west, where the ascent to the Upper Palni plateau 
begins, the soil gradually deteriorates and becomes shallower, and 
after the low hill lying between the village of Tdndikkudi and 
its neighbour Pannaikadu is left behind, the vegetation gradually 
changes and the heavier forest soon entii-ely disappears and is 
replaced by open, grassy downs dotted with stunted trees and 



shrubs with sholas here and there in some of the moister and more CHAP. V. 
sheltered valleys. Nearly all these woods arc included in the Forests, 
Upper Palni reserves, but scarcely a dozen are of any real size. 
Among the best known of them are Tiger shola, near Neutral 
Saddle ; Pcrumdl shola, on either side of Law^s ghat there (this 
is full of gall-nut trees) ; Vanjankdnal, further down the same 
road ; Kodaikanal, in the hill-station of that name ; Gundan 
shola, about two miles west of this ; Doctor's Delight, four miles 
west of Kodaikanal and a favourite place for picnics ; and Kukal 
shola, some fifteen miles west of that station. None of these 
contain any great store of timber trees, the prevailing species 
being Eugenia ArnotUana and JElceocarpus, and they are chiefly 
valuable as protectors of the sources of a series of useful streams. 
Many of them are thought to show signs of having been greatly 
damaged by fire in previous years. The great undulating plateau 
on the top of the Palnis, which stretches from the outskirts of 
Kodaikanal right away to the Travancore frontier on the west and 
Bodinayakkanur limits on the south, has recently, after consider- 
able discussion,^ been reserved under the Forest Act and given 
the name of the ' Ampthill Downs.' It is over 53 square miles 
in extent and about one-fourth of it consists of sholas and three- 
fourths of open, rolling, grassy downs. It is diversified with 
peaks running up to from 7,000 to 8,000 feet and is one of the 
most beautiful tracts in all the Presidency. 

The last of the four groups into which the IMadura forests may ^^ the 
be divided (those in the Kambam valley) contains the most yjJIcj. 
interesting and valuable evergreen forests in the district. As has 
been said, Grovernment owns only a comparatively small patch of 
the immense area of jungle which lines both sides of this valley 
and clothes the whole of theVarushauad valley, its next neighbour 
to the east. Travelling southwards from Periyakulam along the 
west side of the Kambam valley, no Government forest (excepting 
a patch on the Aggamalai spur just west of Periyakulam) is 
reached until one gets nearly to Kombai. Even then the growth 
from this point to the head of the valley cannot bo said to be of 
great importance to the streams which rise in it, for it consists of 
a narrow belt on hills which rise suddenly and precipitously to 
the watershed, the other slope of which is Travancore territory. 
On the east side of the lower end of the valley, the only Govern- 
ment reserves of any size are two which lie respectively just north 
and south of the road from Andipatti to Usilampatti. The most 
important blocks are those on the eastern side of the head of the 

^ See B.P,, Forest No. 149, dated 28th May 1903, and connected papers. 

140 MADURA, 

CHAP. V. Kanibam valley— among them the M^lag6dalur reserve, through 
yoRESTs. which runs part of the Periydr tunnel, and the Vannathiparai 
reserve, some 24,600 acres in extent and (except the ' Ampthill 
Downs ') the largest in the district. These lie on the top and sides 
of the ' High Wavy Mountain.' The upper part of this hill 
consists of an undulating plateau, perhaps fifteen square miles in 
area, which is covered with a continuous, dense, evergreen forest 
which is a favourite haunt of elephants and runs down in long 
irregularly shaped masses for a considerable distance through the 
deep valleys on either side. Below it is a zone of bare, rocky, 
grass land, and beneath that again the lower slopes are well 
covered with deciduous forest. This tract all drains into the 
Kambam valley, and in it lie the sources of the Suruli river, the 
beautiful fall of which is a well-known land-mark on the road 
to the Periyar lake. The upper parts of it contain blackwood 
{Balbergia latifolia)^ Lager sir cemia microcarpa and some teak of 
fair size, while the lower forests produce Anogeissus latifolia, Adina 
cordifolia, Dalhergia paniculata, Pterocarpus Marsupium, Schleichera 
irijuga and other marketable timber trees, and also the rare Aquilaria 
agallocha (called akil in the vernacular) the ' scented eagle-wood ' 
of commerce. But almost every sound tree in the lower levels 
was carried off in the daj^s before conservation began, and it will 
be many years before the growth recovers from the treatment it 
then underwent. 
Plantations. The artificial plantations in the district are four in number. 

In 1870 Colonel (then Captain) Campbell Walker started planta- 
tions of teak at Velankombai, at the northern foot of the Palnis 
not far from Palni town, and at Yannathiparai, near the foot of 
the ghat to the Periydr lake. Each of them now contains some 
4,500 trees. The sites were not particularly well chosen, as neither 
of them receives the full benefit of the south-west monsoon. The 
former is, moreover, liable to be flooded by an adjoining channel, 
and the saturation so caused has at different times killed a good 
many of the trees in it. 

In this same year (1870) a plantation of blue gum and 
Australian blackwood {Acacia melanoxylon) was begun at Kodai- 
kanal in order to provide that station with fii*ewood and so save 
from destruction the fine Kodai shola after which it is named. 
Here again the site was not well chosen, and the growth has been 
indifferent. The firewood supply has since been supplemented 
by a plantation begun in 1887-88 at Gundan shola, about two 
miles west of the station, which is now an extensive affair. It 
was partly burnt in February 1895, when considerable damage 
was done to it, and again in 1905. 


The minor produce of the forests includes numerous items CHAP. v. 
of which the chief are, perhaps, gall-nuts {kadukkdi/, the fruit of Forests. 
■Terminalia chebula), leaves for manure and cardamoms. Minor 

The pr.incipal gall-nut areas arc on the Lower Palnis, where i"'^^"^®* 
the tree abounds in the deciduous forest and is also scattered over 
the open grass land. In former days the methods of collecting 
its produce were wasteful in the extreme, trees being lopped, and 
even felled, to save trouble in picking their fruit. The privilege 
of collection and sale is now leased out to contractors, but the 
spread of the chrome process of tanning has caused a great decline 
in the value of gall-nuts and the revenue from this source in the 
Palnis has fallen in recent years from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 2,000. 

Leaves for manure are especially sought after in the areas 
recently brought under wet cultivation with the Periyar water, and 
are carted great distances by the ryots. In those tracts Cassia 
(mriculata shrubs growing on unreserved lands have recently 
been allowed, to be gathered for manure free of charge, and this has 
caused a further decline in the forest revenue from ' minor produce.' 

Areas gi-own with cardamoms arc let out on leases, which us- 
ually run|for thirty years. The price of the fruit has fallen of late 
years and the competition for land for growing it has declined. A 
demand for lemon-grass {Andropogon citratum) for the distillation 
of oil has recently arisen, and this brings in a small income. 

The revenue from grazing-f ees is inconsiderable in comparison Grazlnf^-feea. 
with the extent of the forests. The reserves in the east of the 
district contain little good grass and many of those in the west 
are out of favour with the herdsmen because they contain no 
places suitable for the penning of cattle at night and because 
water is scarce there in the hot weather. Few cattle are ever 
driven to the Upper Palni grass lands to graze, but large numbers 
go to the Travancore forests up the pass leading to the Periydr 

Working plans have recently been drawn up and sanctioned Working 

for the forests in the four eastern taluks of the district (the F^^°^ '■ f ^**® 
_ V four eastern 

Kanavaipatti and Palamedu forest ranges) and also for those taluks, 
in the Kambam valley (the Kambam range). For the remaining 
two ranges, namely, Kodaikanal, which includes the reserves on 
the Upper Palnis and their slopes, and Tandikkudi, in which are 
comprised the Lower Palni woodlands, schemes have not yet been 
made out. 

The first of the above two working plans includes all the 
Grovernment reserves in the taluks of Madura, M^Kir, Dindigul 

142 MADURA. 

CHAP. V. and Tirumangalara. It was prepared in 1898-99 and sanctioned 

Forests. in 1900.^ 

Very briefly stated^ its proposals are that (with the exception 
of certain definite tracts containing fair timber and called ' pole 
areas,' and a few others in which the poverty of the stock is such 
that there is no probability of there being anything in them worth 
felling in the next 30 years) the whole area is to be coppiced in 
the same rotation and on the same method. The large preponder- 
ance of he crop consists of Albizzia amara, which coppices 
admirably, and reproduction of the forest by sowing is not thought 
likely to succeed, for the reasons that almost everywhere the 
reserves stand on steep slopes where the soil is shallow, stony, 
scorched up in the hot weather aud trodden to pieces by cattle 
in the rains. The period of rotation is to be 30 years, and each 
block will be sold once in 30 years, as it stands, by auction, to 
contractors who will coppice it. It will then have ten years 
complete rest, grazing being prohibited in it. Thereafter cattle 
will be allowed to graze in it on payment of the usual fees, and 
at the end of five years more (by which time the coppice shoots 
will be fifteen years old) goats will also be admitted at fairly high 
rates, the area in which they are allowed being, however, changed, 
every two years and limited in extent. 

Provision is made for the supply to ryots of manure leaves, 
which are highly valued in all the wet land under the Periyar 
channels, by allowing people to collect them at the usual rates (in 
those blocks which are not undergoing a complete rest) on a rota- 
tion of three years. Three tree:^ — satinwood [Chloroxylon Suietenia), 
Wrightia tinctoria and Lrora parvtffora — which together form about 
five per cent, of the crop and are of value as timber, are not to be 
lopped for manure leaves. 

The coppicing is expected to produce about five tons an acre 
and firewood is now supplied, not only to the smaller villages, but 
to a d^pSt in Madura, to the Madura spinning-mill and to the 
South Indian Eailway. The annual output has risen rapidly 
in the last few years and is now 20,000 tons. The revenue from 
firewood has increased from less than Rs. 100 in 1900-01 to 
nearly Rs. 68,000 in 1004-05. 
In the The working plan for the Kambam valley forests, which was 

Kambam sanctioned in 1901,* is somewhat more complicated. It divides the 

vallej. ^ 

^ See B.P., Forest No. 385, dated 18th September 1900, in which the plan is 
printed in extenso. 

' See B.P., Forest No. 310, dated 30th September 1901, in which it ii printed 
in full. 


total area into six classes of forest; namely , areas to be treated as CHAP. V. 
(tt) fuel reserves, (b) ground for browsing goats, (c) evergreen Forests. 
forest, (d) timber tracts, (e) land for grazing cattle, and (f) unpro- 
duotive and unworkable portions. 

The first of these, the fuel reserves, are small and are to be 
worked on the system of exploitation known as ' coppice with 
standards ' on a rotation of 30 years, browsing and grazing being 
prohibited. In the next class of forest, the land provided for 
browsing goats, cattle as well as goats are to be admitted, but no 
felling is to be allowed. The third class, the evergreen forests, 
are to be left untouched as protectors of the sources of streams. 
No felling is to be allowed in them nor any grazing nor browsing. 
As they contain no grass and 'are difficult of access, goats and 
cattle are as a matter of fact never driven to them even now. 

The timber tracts, the fourth of the above classes, are to be 
rigidly protected from fire in the hope that in time seedlings may 
spring up and reclothe the many open spaces left by former reck- 
less felling, and eventually selected patches are to be planted up. 
Previously, fii-es ran every year through the shrubs and coarse 
grass which now covers these gaps, and killed all seedlings ; and 
even now the greatest damage is caused by the fires which 
annually burn the whole of the Travaucore jungles along the 
boundary and the violence of which is so great that no ordinary 
fire-line is enough to stop them. Goats are to be excluded, but 
cattle are to be admitted to help in keeping down the grass and so 
minimising the spread of any fires which occur. There is at 
present little demand for timber from Gfovernment reserves in this 
part of the district, as large quantities are imported from Travau- 
core State down the ghat from the Periyar lake. 

The last of the workable arpas, the land for cattle-grazing, 
includes the poorer compartments on tbe west side of the valley 
under the precipitous cliffs already referred to. The trees here 
are of inferior species, few in number, widely scattered, and mostly 
hacked to pieces by the villagers. Even if the damaged stock 
could be cut back and protected for a long period it is thought 
doubtful whether it would bo of much value, and therefore this 
area is to be left open for grazing on the usual terms. 









Artb and 

Occupations — Agriculture and pasture. Arts and Industries— Blanket-makin 
— Cotton-weaving — Silk -weaving — Appliances — Dyeing — Gold and silver 
thread— Wax-printing — Cottou-spinning — Cigar-making — Coffee-curing — 
Oils —Tanning — Wood-oarving — Metal-work — Bangles — Minor industi'ies. 
Trade — Exports — Imports —Mechanism of trade. Weights and Measures 
— Tables of weight— Measures for grain — Liquids — Land — Distance— And 
time— Coinage. 

In every district iu this Presidency the number of people 
who subsist bj agriculture and the tending of flocks and herds 
greatlj exceeds the proportion employed in all other callings put 
together, and in Madura this preponderance is more marked than 
usual, nearly three-fourths of the people living directly or in- 
directly by the land. The census figures of 1901 showed that 87 
per cent, of the agriculturists were cultivators of their own land 
and that less than 2 per cent, owned land without cultivating it. 
Peasant proprietorship thus greatly predominates over all other 
classes of tenure. Of those who lived by farm-labour but pos- 
sessed no fields of their own, nine-tenths were day-labourers and 
only one-tenth farm-servants engaged for long terms. This is a 
very different state of things from that prevailing in some other 
districts, Tanjore for example, where the agricultural cooly is 
very commonly the servant of the big land-holder and bound 
down to him by numerous pecuniary and other obligations. 

Agricultural methods have been referred to in Chapter IV 
above, and in Chapter I will be found some account of the 
cattle, sheep and goats of the district. It remains to consider 
here the callings which are connected with arts and industries and 
with trade. The ordinary village handicrafts of the blacksmith, 
carpenter, potter and the rest do not differ from the normal, and it refer briefly to the methods of the other artisans. 

The industry which employs the largest number of hands is 
weaving, '^but the proportion of the people subsisting by it is 
smaller than the average for the Presidency as a whole. The 
materials employed are wool, silk and cotton, aud it will be found 
that the"greater part of the work is done by people of foreign 
castes, who have come to the district from elsewhere. 



Wool is only used for making coarse blankets. The Kura- 
bas, a Canarese-speaking community who immigrated to the 
district iu years gone by from the Mysore and Deccan country, 
weave these articles from the wool of the black and white sheep. 
The industry is practically confined to the Dindigul, Palni and 
Periyakulam taluks and (except the actual shearing of the sheep) 
is carried out by the women. The sheep are first shorn when 
they are six months old and thereafter twice annually, in January 
and June, until their death, which generally occurs in their 
seventh year. The black wool is sorted by hand from the white, 
and the blankets are either black, white, a mixture of the two, 
black with white borders, or vice versa. The wool is never dyed. 
It is spun by hand and woven on a primitive horizontal loom 
fitted with clumsy appliances. The warp threads are first 
stiffened with a paste made of crushed tamarind seed and water. 
The finished article, the demand for which is entirely local, is 
usually six cubits long by three wide and is sold at the weekly 
markets at prices varying from As. 12 to Es. 2. 

Cotton is woven into fabrics of very varying quality. The 
coarsest of these are the thick white dupatis iu which the ryots 
are wont to wrap themselves in the cold season and which cost 
from Ke. 1-4 to Rs. '■^ apiece. These are woven from machine- 
made yarn and are never dyed. Tbey are chiefly made by a few 
Kaikolans in Palni and Ayakkudi, and some Eavutans in the 
latter place; by Paraiyans in a number of villages in the Kanni- 
vddi zamindari and the "Vedasandur division of Dindigul taluk • 
aud by Native Christians (originally Ambattans by caste) and 
Rdvutans in Sdttangudi and some other [)laces in Tiruraangalam. 
In Timmarasanayakkantir, Saliyans weave narrow strips of a 
similar coarse fabric which are sown together and used for 
making native tents and jardahs. 

The cloths commonly worn by the women of the middle 
and lower classes are made by several different castes in many 
different places and vary greatly in quality. In Dindigul taluk 
the chief centres are Dindigul and Ambaturai. In Dindigul, 
about 100 families of Seniyans (who speak Canarese) make the 
coarser varieties from English yarn, and some 600 families of the 
Gujarati Patnulkarans (see p. 109) weave the better kinds 
and also make a pecnliar class of cloths for men in which silk 
spun with special fineness and silver thread imported from France 
are used, and which are mostly exported to Madras. In Amba- 
turai and two or three neighbouring villages Canarese-speakino- 
Sedans make the ooramoner kinds of women's cloths. They buy 



Arts and 



146 MADURA. 

CHAP. VI. the yarn and dye it themselves with imported aniline and alizarine 
Arts and pigments, and export the finished article to Tanjore and Burma. 
Industries, j^ Tadikkombu, Kaikolans weave similar fabrics. 

In Nilakk6ttai taluk the chief centres are Mullipallam, 
Tenkarai (on the opposite side of the Vaigai) and Vattilagundu. 
At the first of these the weavers are Sedans, some 300 looms arc 
at work and women's cloths are woven from yam imported from 
Madura and dyed locally with imported colours. They are sent 
in considerable quantities to Colombo and the Tinnevelly district. 
In Tenkarai, Kaikolans working at piece-rates for Patnulkaran 
capitalists, and in Yattilagundu, Patnulkarans and Seniyans, 
carry on a similar industry on a smaller scale. 

In Palni taluk the weaving is mainly done in the head-quarter 
town. There, about 200 Sedan, 150 Seniyan, and 50 Kaikolan 
families make like stuifs in a similar manner. The Kaikolans 
usually work at piece-rates for capitalists belongipg to the other 
two communities. Some 300 Patnulkaran houses are also 
employed in making cloths with silk borders for men. The silk 
is obtained from Coimbatore, Kumbakonam and Madras, and the 
stuffs are exported to the Tanjore, Salem and Coimbatore districts. 

In Periyakulam taluk the Saliyans of Timmarasanayakkanur, 
already mentioned, have lately taken to making coarse cloths for 
women ; the Sedans and Padmasales of Vadugapatti, hamlet of 
M^lamangalpm, have each about 100 looms working at similar 
fabrics ; and the Patnulkarans of Melaraangalam and Periyakulam 
turn out the same stuffs and also handkerchiefs with silk borders. 

But the most important cotton-weaving centre in all the 
district is Madura itself, where the industry is in the hands o^ 
the Patnulkarans. The fabrics they make are better woven and 
of more varied designs than those of any other place and are 
exported in large quantities to Madras and elsewhere. Their 
white cloths made from European yarn and ornamented with 
borders of gold or silver thread are especially famous. 
Silk-weaving. This community is the only caste in the district which manu- 
factures all-silk goods as distinct from those containing merely 
an admixture of silk or ornamented with silk borders. The 
industry is practically confined to Madura town, but there it is 
of much importance. Both cloths and turba^ls are made and the 
latter, which usually have borders of gold or silver thread, are in 
great demand. The raw material is imported from Bombay and, 
to a less extent, from Calcutta, Kollegal and Mysore State. 



Except in Madura, tho looms and otlier appliances used by UHA.P. VI. 
the weavers are of the kind usual elsewliere and call for no special Arts and 

description. The women and children of the weaver castes do ' 

much of the preliminary work, such as preparing the warp. 

In Madura the Patnulkarans have made several attempts to Appliances, 
introduce improved machinery. A few fly-shuttle looms have 
been tried, but they are not popular for use with the higher couuts 
of yarn, as thej are apt to break the warp threads. Warping 
is not usually done in the ordinary method (walking up and . 
down a long line of sticks stuck in the ground and winding the 
thread off the spindle in and out of these) but the thread is 
wound on to a series of iron pegs arranged on a square wooden 
frame. This enables the work to be done indoors and in all 
weathers. A patent has been taken out for a modification of the 
country loom which enables it to weave figures on the borders of 
cloths, and another patent for an entirely new kind of loom has 
been applied for. 

Except in Madura, again, nothing has been done to improve Djeing. 
dyeing processes or to prevent the imported aniline and alizarine 
compounds from ousting the native vegetable pigments. 

In Madura a number of Patnulkaran firms are carrying on 
dyeing operations on a large scale and on improved lines and 
vegetable products are generally employed for their silk fabrics. 
Kamela powder (collected from the surface glands of the capsules 
of the tree Mallotus Philippinensis) is used for yellow, lac for red 
and indigo for blue. 'I'he dye called ' Madura red ' used once to 
be very famous, and efforts have chiefly been directed to the 
production of this. The dye is generally made as follows : The 
ashes of a plant called Mww'i (Salicorma Tndica), which grows wild 
in certain parts of tho district, are stirred with cold water and 
the solution left to stand till the evening. Some of it is then 
mixed with ground-nut oil (or, if the thread to be dyed is of the 
finer varieties, with gingeliy oil) which becomes emulsified and 
milky in appearance. In this mordant the thread is soaked all 
night, and next day it is dried in tho sun. This alternate soak- 
ing and drying is repeated for ten days, and on the eleventh 
the thread is taken to the Yaigai (the water of which river is 
said to be especially favourable to dyeing operations) and left to 
soak there in running water for some hours. Bj that time it is 
beautifully white. Next, the roots of OUenlanclia umbellatd (chay- 
root, imhurdn in the vernacular) and the dried leaves of the shrub 
Memecyhn edule {Myam) are steeped together in water for some 
time, and to this solution is added some of a Grer man alizarine dye, 

148 MADURA. 

CHAP. VI. The thread is again soaked in this for a night, and next boiled 
Arts and for two hours ; and then it is taken to the river, left in running 
iNDPSTRiKs. .^y^^gj, fQj goj^e time and finally dried in the sun. It is now the 
fine red colour which is so popular. Deeper shades are obtained 
by giving additional steepings in tlie dye-solution. For certain 
special kinds of fabrics, the alizarine dye is sometimes replaced 
by vegetable pigments, but this is rarf. 

Gold and Madura used to be famous for the manufacture of the gold 

silver thread, j^^^j silver thread (or ' lace,' as it is sometimes called) which 
figures so largely in the borders of the more expensive kinds of 
cloths and turbans. The local weavers now use the cheaper 
French and English thread exclusively, but a few Musalmans 
stil] carry on the industry to supply a demand which survives in 
Tinnevelly, Trichinopoly and Travancore. They melt silver and 
lead in a clay crucible and cast the alloy into thin bars. These 
are hammered still thinner and then drawn through a series of 
holes of gradually diminishing size until they are transformed 
into exceedingly fine wire. The women then hammer this flat to 
make the thread. Gold thread is made in the same way, the 
silver bars being coated with gold before being ' drawn ' into 
wii*e. Grold is so ductile that it continues to cover the silver with 
a fine coating right through to the end of the process. 

Yf^^, In Madura town some ten or twenty persons practise the art 

printing. of wax- printing which is so extensively carried on at Kumbako- 

nani, Conjeeveram and Wallajahbad. This consists in printing 
designs on the cloth in wax with metal blocks, or drawing them 
by hand with a kind of iron pen provided with a ball of aloe 
fibre to act (somewhat on the principle employed in a fountain 
pen) as a reservoir for the wax. When the designs are finished, 
the fabric is immersed in the dye-tub, and then, while the body of 
it takes the dye, the design (being protected by the wax) remains 
unaffected and retains its original colour. The wax is then melted 
off by plunging the fabric into hot water and the design appears 
in white on a coloured ground. If required, the design itself can 
afterwards be separately dyed by putting the whole cloth, into a 
tub of some other pigment. Cloths for both men and women, 
and also handkerchiefs, are manufactured in this manner. 

A primitive method also employed for producing a rude pat- 
tern on a cloth consists in knotting small portions of the stuff at 
regular intervals with bits of string. These knotted parts are 
not touched by the dye and remain white while all the rest of the 
oloth is coloured. 


Connected with the weaving industry is the cotton-spinning thap. vi. 
which is done at Messrs. Harvej's steam mill near the Madura Arts and 

railway-station. This began work in 1892, has a capital of ten ' 

lakhs, of which eight are paid up, and in the last year for which Cotton- 
figures are available contained 36,000 spindles, employed daily ^i'"^"^"^* 
1,600 men, women and children and consumed annually over 2-j 
million pounds of cotton. 

Of the industries which are concerned with the manufacture of Cigai- 
the agricultural products of tlie district, the most important is the *"* '"°" 
making of the well-known Dindigul cheroots. 

Before the railway reached that town, most of the Madura 
tobacco was sent to Trichiuopoly, which was then the centre of 
the cheroot-trade. The first firm to begin work on any consider- 
able scale in Dindigul were Messrs. Kuppusvami Nayudu, who 
started business about 1850. Their cheroots were roughly tied 
up in plantain leaves, packed in bamboo baskets and exported by 
cart. Some years later, Captain E. A, Campbell of the Indian 
Army, who had been growing coffee and exotic cotton and silk on 
the Sirumalais, entered the trade. He copied the shapes of the 
Havana and Manila cigars, introduced wooden boxes and made 
other improvements. Mr. Neuberg of Bombay followed, and 
eventually transferred his business to his nephew, Mr. J. Heimpel. 
The latter's factory was in the extensive compound across the road 
opposite the Roman Catholic church He was the first to intro- 
duce the ' wrappers ' of -Java, Sumatra and other foreign tobaccos 
which are now universally used and to substantially raise the price 
of the cheroots, lie closed his business about 1890. His agent, 
Mr. Menge], who had already parted from him and established a 
separate concern, now developed this latter and eventually formed 
it into a Company with a capital of two lakhs. He died in 1900 
and the Company ceased active opei-ations in the next year. 
About 1890 Messrs. Spencer & Co. entered the field, and they 
now have practically a monopoly of tliis trade in the district. In 
the latest year for which figures are available they employed at 
Dindigul 1,100 hands daily and made annually 16 million cigars 
valued at Rs. 4,40,000. The process of manufacture consists iu 
boiling the selected leaves in a specially-prejjared ^wash'-- 
boiling has superseded soaking, as it kills the tobacco weevil — 
'stripping,' or removing the midrib of the leaf, and ' rolling/ 
or making the finished cheroot. Each ' roller ' works with two or 
three boys, who make the ' fillers,' or inside part of the cheroot, 
and hand them to him to roll and cover with the ' wrapper.' 
The cheroots are finally cut by machinery into the required 
lengths, examined, bundled and passed to the boxing department- 




Arts and 






Coffee is cured at ' Vans Agnew's ' and ' St. Mary's' estates 
on the Sirumalais, and at two otlier properties known as the 
Manalur and Pillaivali estates on the Lower Palnis. 

The cliief oil made in the district is gingelly, which is used by 
all castes for cooking and by some for oil-baths. It is expressed 
in the ordinary country mill by Vaniyans. In Nattam the peojDle 
of this caste have three mills of European pattern. Castor-oil, 
used for lighting, is made on a smaller scale by first roasting the 
seed and then boiling it witli water and skimming off the oil as it 
rises to the surface. Oil from the seeds of the nim or margosa 
tree is much employed medicinally, and is used by some few 
castes, such as Kalians and Yalaiyans, for oil-baths. On the 
Sirumalais, some Labbais from Vdniyambadi distil oil from the 
lemon-grass which grows there. The product is exported to other 
parts of India. 

Tanning was until recently a flourishing industry in the Begam- 
par suburb of Dindigul, where the Edvutans owned about 25 
tanneries. Only seven of these now survive, the competition of 
chrome tanning having resulted in the others being shut up. 
The workmen inostly come from Pondicherry, and formerly 
belonged to several tanneries there which were afterwards closed. 
Hides and skins are now collected at Dindigul and merely 
dried and sent to Madras for export. 

The wood-carving of Madura town has more than a local 
reputation. Good examples of it may be seen over the doorways 
of some of the better houses, iu the haJydna mahdl in the 
Minakshi temple, and on the great cars belonging to this insti- 
tution which were made about a dozen years ago. 

' It is celebrated for its boldness of form, due to the influence of 
the stone-carvers, for its delicate tracery on flat siu-faces, probably 
first introduced by men from the Bombay side, for the fine carving 
of panels decorated with scenes from the legend of^the Mahabharata, 
and for the excellent modelling of the swamis, which suggests the 
influence of sandalwood carvers from Mysore and Western India. At 
the present day the best work is done in the Madura Technical 
School, an institution maintained by the District Board which has 
done much to revive decadeut art indostries, and, by finding new 
markets for the productions of the skilled art workmen, has encour- 
aged them to maintain the old high standard of work.' ' 

The only work in metals which is known outside the district 
is the manufacture at Dindigul of locks and safes. The locks 
are imitations of Chubb's patents and are purchased in con- 

^ Monograph on Wood'Carvinrj in foutliern India, hy Mr. E. Thurston. 


siderable quaDtities hj Goverument, Tlie firm which established CHAP. VI. 

the industry (Sankaraline-achari Brothers) is not now llourishinff, ^^"^^ ^^^ 

. . . Industries, 
and many of its workmen have left it for younger rivals, ' _I 

Dindigul also takes the lead in the district in the manufacture 
of the usual bell-metal vessels. At Silaimalaipatti also, near 
Peraijur in the Tirumangalam taluk, about 40 families of 
Kannans make brass platters, water-pots, drinking-bowls, cattle- 
bells, etc. The same industry is carried on by the same caste at 
Kannapattinear SandaijiH" in the Siime taluk, and at Nilakkottai, 
Periyakulam, Uttamapalaiyam Jind other place.?. At Nilakkottai 
bell-metal gongs are made. 

Bangles are manufactured from Jac by Gtizula Balijas in Bangles. 
Tirumangalam, Periyakulam, Melamangalara and a few other 
villages. The process consists in melting lac and lirick dust, 
pounding the result in a mortar, cutting it into strips, moulding 
these into bangles over a fire, and finally decorating them, while 
still hot, with copper foil, etc. 

Minor industries include the making of combs of wood and Minor 
buffalo horn by Dommaras at Palui ; the weaving of common 
mats from horai grass by I'lavutans and Kuravaus in many 
villages ; the making of baskets from split bamboo by Medak- 
karans in Palni and the neighbourhood ; tJie turning and 
colouring with lac (.f wooden toys by Tachchans in Airavadaualliir 
near Madura; and saltpetre manufacture by Tjipiliyans in 
Periyakulam. Palni, Solavandan and other villages. 

Statistics of 'trade are not compiled for each district separately, Trade. 
and the figures for Madura are lumped with those of Tinnevelly. 
It is impossible, therefore, to speak with exactness of the course 
of commerce. 

The chief exports include cheroots, hides and skins, locks ^xpoi'ts. 
and safes from Dindigul; plantains, coffee, bamboos and forest, 
produce (such as dyes, tans, honey, etc.) from the Sirumalais 
and Palnis ; cardamoms from the Palnis and from tbe Kannan 
Devan Hills Produce Company's property on the ^rravancore 
range ; dry grain from the Palni taluk ; cotton from Tirumanga- 
lam, which goes to the various presses in Tinnevelly district; 
garlic from the Upper Palnis ; paddy, and silk and cotton fabrics 
from Madura. 

The chief imports are articles which the district does not itself I^ipoi'^s. 
produce, such as European piece-goods, iron and kerosine 
from Madras, salt from Tinnevelly, sugar from Nelliknppam and 
■0 forth. 





of trade. 



Tables of 

Madura is tlie chief trade centre and the railway receipts there 
are larger than at any other station on the South Indian line. 
Dindig-ul follows next, and then the head-quarters of the various 
taluks and Bodinayakkanur, through which last all the produce 
of tlie Kannan Devan hills travels to the railway at Ammaya- 

The trading castes are principally Ravutans, Shanans, Chettis 
and Lingayats. Grain-brokers are often Vell^las. The Ndttu- 
kottai Chettis are the financiers of the district. 

The weekly markets are quite a feature of village life, and 
play a very important part in the collection of goods for export 
and in the distribution of imports. '1 hoy are usually controlled 
by the Local Boards, and the receipts from thein are larger 
than in any other district except Coimbatore. Judged by the 
amount paid for the right to collect the usual fees at them, the 
biggest are those at Virupdkshi, Usilampatti, Nilakkottai and 

The ordinary table of weights is — 
6 tolas (-4114 oz.) .. 
20 palams 

Measures for 

6 visa 
8 vies 

= 1 palam (nearly 2^ oz.). 

= L viss (about 3 lb.). 

= 1 tulam (about 18^ lb.). 

=: 1 maund (about 26 lb.). 

In addition, there are certain special weights used for cotton, 
and the number of viss in a maund differs in a bewildering way 
both according to local custom and to the substance which is 
being weighed. Thus in Madura there are 9 viss in a maund 
of tamarind, 8^^ in one of jaggery, 8^ in one of chillies, and so 
on and so forth. 

The usual grain measure ia — 
135 tolaa of rice (heaped) 
4 measures . . 
12 marakkals 

The Board of Revenue has directed the stamping department 
to stamp only multiples and sub-multiples of the Madras measure 
of 132 tolas, heaped, but the order appears to have had but 
little effect upon local practice. This varies in the most extra- 
ordinary manner, as, though the measure is constant in value, 
the number of measures in a kalam may be anything, according 
to locality, from two to six. It is reported that in Palni taluk 
the usual table of measures is — 

3 measures . . . . . . . . = 1 vallam. 

1 measure. 
1 marakkal. 
i l<alam. 

16 vallams 
2^ modM 

= 1 moda. 
= 1 salagai. 


Arrack is sold by tlie English gallon and dram. Other CHAP. Vl. 
liquids, such as curds, buttermilk and so on, are sold by the We'.ghts 
sub-multiples of the ordinary grain measure. Mkasuees. 

Acres and cents are now always used officially as measures of l^^jJ 
land, but the ryots themselves still speak of the guli (a square 
of 160 feet, or -5877 acre) and the kdni, or 1*32 acre. 

The English inch, foot and yard are now very generally Distance. 
used, but the old native terms are still met with. These are — 
12 fingers' breadth .. .. .. = 1 sxmn (jan). 

2 spans .. .. .. .. = 1 cubit (mulam). 

2 cubits .. .. .. ,. = 1 yard (gajam). 

4 cubits . . . . . . . . = 1 fathom (marj. 

The English mile is also used in describing long distances, 
though the native measures are — 

Distance walked in a naligai ('i4 minutes) = H miles. 

Do. 7^ naligais . . . . = 1 kadam = 

10 miles. 

Fov time also the English style is common. The native table And time, 
is the following — 

60 vinadis , . . . . . . = 1 naligai = 

24 minutes, 

3| naligais . . . . . . = 1 muhurtam. 

2 muhurtams . . . . . . = 1 jamam. 

8 jamams .. .. . . = 1 day. 

Prior to the conquest of Madura by the Aluhammadaus, the Coinage. 
coin of highest value in the district was the pon, which was 
equivalent to 10 kali-panams (lO^- of which made a star pagoda, 
or Rs. 3^) or slightly more than two rupees. This coin was 
subsequently superseded by the star pagoda or pu-vardhan. The 
table was— - 

80 cash .. .. = 1 panam (Angliceyhwani). 

45 panams .. .. = 1 star pagoda = 3*35 5/<?t'fl; rupees 

= 3^ British rupees. 

The present currency is, of course, the same as in other parts 
of the country, but in small transactions the panam aud cluddu are 
sometimes used instead of annas and pies. The table is — 
2 pies . . . . . . . . . , =■ 1 dugani. 

4 pies . . . . . . . . = 1 duddu. 

10 duddus . . . . . . . . = 1 panam. 

The value of a panam varies, however, in different localities. 
In Madura it is 3 annas and 4 pies, and in the Dindigul division 
4 annas. 







Their former 




KoADs— Their former state — Their existing conditiou — The chief routes— The 
Kottakudi ropeway — Law's ghat—The Attur ghat— Bridges Travellers' 
bungalows and chattrams. Railways— Existing lines— Projected routes. 

LiKF those of most other districts, the metalled roads of 
Madura are practically a creatiou of the last forty years. No 
doubt many regular lines of communication existed as far back 
as the times of the Ndyakkan dynasty, for both Tirumala 
Ndyakkan and Queen Mangammal established and endowed 
frequent choultries for travellers. But these were almost 
certainly meiolj unmetalled tracks very ill-suited to cart traffic 
in any but the finest weather. The first Collector to carry out 
any notable improvements in the roads of the district seems to 
have been Mr. Blackburne, who was officially complimented 
because he had spent Es. 1,23,000 on them in the nine years 
between 1884 and 1842— a sum which nowadays would be 
considered ridiculously inadequate. Of this outlay, Rs. 70,000 
were expended on bridges and culverts, and only Rs. 8,000 on 
gravelling. In 1851 the Collector reported that only ten miles 
of road in all the district could be termed metalled ; and in 1868, 
though some 500 miles were returned as ' maintained,' the only 
route „ in fair order was that from Trichinopolj, via Melur and 
Madura, to Tirumangalam and Tionevelly. Even the important 
road from Dindigul to Madura was ' for the most part in a very 
ruinous state ' and the lesser lines were ' all in a more or less 
unsatisfactory condition.' Want of money was the reason for 
this state of things, and it was not until the Madras Local Funds 
Act of 1871 authorised the levy of a substantial road-cess that 
any real progress was possible. 

Madura now possesses 800 miles of maintained roads, about 
half of which are metalled. Except the Attur ghdt road up the 
Lower Palnis and the section from Bodinayakkanur to Kottakudi 
(both referred to below), which are in the charge of the depart- 
ment of Public Works, these are kept up by the Local Boards. 

Considering that the soil through which these pass is for the 
most part hard and firm and that metal is plentiful almost every- 
where, their present condition compares very unfavourably with 
that of the communications in neighbouring districts. 



Most of them are lined witli fine avenues. Tlie best of tliese CHAP. VII. 
are always popularly attributed to Queen Mangammal, but though Road^s. 
she planted many avenues during her reign, it is doubtful 
whether the age of any considerable proportion of those now in 
existence can be as great (over 200 years) as this belief would 
imply. The receipts from the produce of these trees is higlier in 
Madura (including the Ramnad and Sivaganga zamindaris) than 
in any other district except Salem and South Arcot. 

The chief lines are (fl') from Trichinopoly district to Tinne- The chief 
vellv, through Melur, Madura and Tirnmangalam, (b) from ^°" *'^- 
Madura to Dindigul, and thence to Paini and (<?) from Dindigjul, 
through Vattilagundu and Periyakulam, to the head of tlie 
Kambam valley and the Periyar lake. 

From the last of tliese a branch road has recently been The 
constructed to Bodinayakkanur and thence to Kottakudi, a village 
at the foot of the Travancore hills from which a steep track 
leads to the top of that range. The work was undertaken at the 
instance of the Kannan Devan Hills Produce Co- (the owners of 
a large area of coffee, tea and cardamom cultivation on the range) 
who have constructed an aerial ropeway from Kottakudi to their 
estates on the hills to replace the track. This ropeway rises some 
4,000 feet, is worked by a turbine driven by a small stream at 
the foot of the hill, and connects at its upper end with a mono- 
rail tramway, 22 miles in length, which goes to Munaar, the 
company's head-quarters. In consideration of Government 
acquiring and handing over under the Land A.cquisition Act the 
land wanted for the ropeway, the company has entered into au 
agreement permitting the use of the ropeway, on payment of 
certain fixed charges, by the general public. The terms of the 
agreement will be found in G.Os., Nos. 4, W., dated 7th January 
1901 and 'J31, Rev., dated 11th April 1005. The road to 
Kottakudi is maintained jointly from Provincial and local funds. 

Another route of interest is Law's ghat, so called from Major Law's L'hat 
G. V. Law of the Madras Staff Corps who carried it out, which 
runs for about eleven miles from the hill-station of Kodaikanal 
to Neutral Saddle, the natural boundary between the Upper and 
Lower Palnis. It was originally intended to continue it thence 
down to near Ganguvarapatti, but this lovver section was never 
properly completed, has not been maintained, and is not now 
practicable for anything but cattle. 

The question of opening up roads into the Palni range was 
first definitely raised in 1875 by the Dindigul taluk board, and 
Major Law, whose health required a change from the plains, was 

156 MADURA. 

CHAP. VII. selected to cut tlie necessary preliminary traces. He found that 
EoADs, tlie only work whicli had been done up to then was the cutting, 
by a native surveyor deputed by the District Engineer, Colonel 
J F. Fischer, R.E., of a trace from Shembaganur down the Vilpatti 
valley, north of Kodaikanal , which ended suddenly in an impossi- 
ble precipice. The remains of this are still visible. He soon 
saw that Neutral Saddle was the key to the whole position, and 
in the same year carried a trace to that point from Kodaikanal 
through Shembaganur. By 1878, Ps 4;},00J had been spent on 
the work, and the upper ten miles were fit for wlieeled traffic, the 
next thirteen rideable and the last seven partly cleared. In that 
year an estimate for Rs. 3,20,000 was sanctioned for completing 
the road down to the plains op]DOsite Granguvarapatti. On 1st 
July 1878 Major (then Colonel) Law retired, and in the same year 
the scarcity of funds resulting from the Afghan War prevented 
the allotment of tl>e money sanctioned. Nothing luore was done 
in the matter until the Attur gh^t was begun. 

The Attdr This IS a cart-road now under construction by the Public 

ghat. Works department. It will run, with a ruling gradient of not 

more than one in nineteen, from Attur in Dindigul taluk up 
the Lower Palnis to Neutral Saddle, where it will meet Law's 
ghat from Kodaikanal. A branch will be made from it to 
Tdndikkudi. It was originally considered that a bridle-path up 
these hills would be sufficient, and in 1896 an estimate for this 
was drawn out. The route which should be followed, the rival 
claims of Attur and A yy ampdlaiyam as the terminus, and the 
width of the road subsequently underwent much discussion, and 
eventually the present scheme was sanctioned. The connecting 
link between the foot of the ghit and Sembatti (on the Dindigul- 
Vattilagundu road), five miles in length, is being made from local 
funds, and it is proposed to continue this 4|- miles further to the 
Ambdturai railway-station. If this is done, the distance from the 
railway to Kodaikanal will be about 50 miles by cart-road, as 
against 33 by road and twelve up a steep bridle-path by the 
existing route from Ammayandyakkanur through Periyakulam.' 

Bridges. The Only important road-bridge in the district is that across 

the Vaigai at Madura. Floods in this river used to block all 
communication between the country on either side of it for 
days together, and at length in 1889 this work was completed 
and was opened by the Collector on the 6th December. It 

' An. alternative proposal to carry the Xttiir ghat no further than Taadik- 
kudi and to complete Law's ghat down to Ganguvarapatti is now under consider- 
ation. The new railway (p. l.'iO) will pass near this last and Kodaikanal would 
then'^be only some 30 miles from the line. 


was built by the Piibbc Works Department and cost R.s. 2,75,687 CHAP. VII. 
against the estimate of Rs. 3,21,400. Of this sara Rs. 60,000 Roads. 
were contributed fi-ora Provincial Funds and Es. 10,0(»0 by the 
municipality, and an additional Rs. 20,000 was provided from the 
unexpended balance of the fund collected fur tJie reception at 
Madura of the Prince of Wales in 1876. It had bfcn airancred 
that when Prince Albert Victor was in south India he should 
visit the town and open the bridge, but his tour was altered in 
consequence of the prevalence of cholera in the neighbourhood, 
and the Collector performed the ceremony instead. 

The road from Palni to Udamalpet in Coimbatore district 
formerly crossed the Shanmuganadi and Amardvati on big bridges 
built at some date before 1868, but both of these have been 
washed away. The former was destioyed by the inundations of 
1877-78. The same floods swept away the bridge over the 
Tirumanimuttdr on the road between Melur and the Trichinopoly 
frontier. A bridge formerly crossed the Pdldr on this same road 
at the point where there is now only a causewaj-. 

The great increase in the volume of the Surnli which resulted 
when the Periyar water was passed into it necessitated the con- 
struction of bridges at Uttamapdlaiyam and at Yirapandi. These 
were completed in 1893. The same causes rendered the crossing 
over the Vaigai at Kunnur on the Andipatti-Teni road, where 
the bed of the river is narrow and deep, a dangerous spot, and 
a ferry (the only one in the district) has now been established 
there. The boat is large enough to take laden carts and travels 
backwards and forwards by means of a block attached to a wire 
rope slung across the stream. 

A list of the travellers' bungalows in Madura, with particulars Travellers' 
of the accommodation in each, will be found in the separate ^^"Salows 
Appendix to this volume. chattrams. 

All the main routes to the famous temple at Eamesvaram pass 
througli the district, and it consequently contains a large number 
of chattrams founded and endowed by the pious for the use of the 
pilgrims to that shrine. Some of these are controlled by the 
Local Boards and others are private institutions. Of the former, 
the most important are Queen MangammaFs chattrams at Sola- 
Vanddn and opposite the Madura railway-station. When the 
English first acquired the district, it was found that the proceeds 
of land granted free of rent for the support of chattrams had in 
most cases been appropriated to their own private use by the 
grantees. Mr. Hurdis, the Collector, wrote in 1802 that — 

' The establishment of Choultries, which was made with the view 
of accommodation][to travellers, has since the time of Yusuf Khan been 








appropriated bj the present incumltents, as their own private property. 
The rapacity of the former managers had winked at this assumption, 
so long as it was profitablo to them : but thu discover}^ of their aggres- 
sion, instead of causing retributive justice to the sufferer, enriched 
progressively the Eenters' treasury by fixing as a tribute all that had 
been discovered taken by previous compulsion. And the holders of 
the property, formerly jmllic, are, hy the yearly receipt of the rent 
specified, in quiet possession of their impudent usurpations.' 

Mr. Hurdis accordingly resumed most of these chattram inams 
and assigned to the institutions tasdik allowances in place of them. 
The land given by Mangammal to the Solavandan chattram was 
treated in this manner, and the institution is now paid an annual 
allowance of Rs. 3,160 from Provincial Funds.^ When the 
new road from Madura to Dindigul through Tadampatti was 
opened, it diverted part of the pilgrim traffic from Solavandan, 
and a Lranch of the chattram was accordingly opened, and is 
still kept up, at Tadampatti. Later on, when the railway was 
brought to Madura, Solavandan became of less importance than 
ever as a halting-place for pilgrims to Ramesvaram, and, with 
the approval of Government, a portion of its endowment was 
diverted in 1894 to the founding and upkeep of the chattram 
opposite the railway-station at Madura, and this was called after 
Queen Mangammdl. 

The only railway in the district is the South Indian Railway, 
the main line of which (metre gauge) enters it near Ailur in the 
Dindigul taluk, runs in a wide curve (to avoid the Sirumalais) 
through Dindigul to Madura town (crossing the Yaigai there on 
a bridge of 15 spans of 70 feet each), and thence passes south-west 
and south, through Tirumangalam into Tinnevelly district. The 
section up to Madura was opened in 1875 and that beyond it in 
the next 3'ear. 

From Madura a branch line, also metre gauge, was built in 
1902 to Mandapam, on the neck of land which runs out to meet 
Pdmban island. This is to be eventually carried across the 
Pamban channel to the island, where it is proposed to establish a 
large port for ocean-going vessels. Schemes are also afoot to 
continue it thence over Adam's Bridge to Ceylon. Details of 
these matters are beyond the scope of this volume, but if they are 
ever brought to completion Madura will be a more important 
town than ever. 

Other lines have been projected. One proposed route would 
run from Dindigul, through Palni, to join the JMadras Railway at 

' For farther particulars, see G.Os., Nos. 252, Revenue, dated 7th February 
1872 and 1095, L., Mis., dated 14th June 1894.. 


Tiruppur in the Coimbatore district. Another would similarly CHAP. VII. 
start from Dindig'ul and pass through Palui^ but thence would Kailwatb. 
run westwards to join the Madras Eailway at Palghat. Neither 
scheme has yet got beyond tlie stage of surveys and estimates. 

In 1899 Messrs. Wilson & Co. of Madras were granted a 
concession to make a 2' 6 " tramway from Ammayanayakkanlir on 
the South Indian Eailway to Kuruvanuth, at the extreme upper 
end of the Kambam valley, with branches to Kottakudi mentioned 
above and to Kistnama Ndyak's tope at the foot of the ghat to 
Kodaikanal. '1 he order of Government granting this concession 
contained the conditious that the work should be begun within 
twelve months thereafter, and completed within three years. 
The Company, however, were unable to raise the necessary funds 
and eventually relinquished the concession. In August 1905 the 
District Board decided to levy a cess of three pies in the rupee of 
land revenue to be spent upon the construction of railways within 
the district and it is now proposed that the proceeds of this should 
be laid out in making a metre-gauge line, to be constructed and 
worked by the South Indian Eailway Co., from Dindigul' to 
Uttamapalaiyam, passing through Sembatti (at the end of the new 
Attur gh^t road), Vattilagundu, Devad/mapatti , Periyakulam, 
Teni (AUinagaram), Bodinayakkanur and Chinnamanur. This 
would run through much rich country and would tap every pass 
to the Upper and Lower Palnis along which any considerable 
traffic is ever likely to travel. 

' It has since been decided that the line shall start from Amuiayt- 





Bainfall — Liability to famine and [floods. Famines and Scabcitieb — In pre- 
British days— In 1799— In 1812-14— In 1832 and 1836— In 1857— In 
18G6 — The great famine of 1876-78. Floods. 

CHAP. VIII. Statistics of the average rainfall at the various recording 

Rainfall. Stations in the district, and for the district as a whole, are given 

~ below for the dry weather (January to March), the hot season 

(April and May), the south-west monsoon (June to vSeptember), 

the north-east monsoon (October to December) and the whole 

year :~ 



Years re- 



April and 

o , 


2 p.-* 


Dindipul ...< 

















































Periyakulam ...i 

Uttamapalaiyam . 







Tirumangalam ... < 

Tirumangalam ... 









Average for the 





It will be noticed that the average fall for the district as a 
whole is nearly 34 inches. This is less than is received in 
neighbouring areas, and moreover the supply is very irregular. 
The extreme variations on record are the 47 41 inclies of 1877 
and the IS'CO of 1876, but in 1898 the fall was over 40 inches 
and in 1870, 187S, 1881 and 1892, it was under 25 inches. 



•C Excluding Kodaikanal, the circumstances of which are pecn- chap. Vlii 

liar, the highest amounts are received in M6\{xv and Madura Rainfall. 

taluks and the lowest in Dindigul, Periyakulam and Palni. The 

figures show that the difference occurs almost entirely in the 

supply registered during the south-west monsoon. The last 

three taluks are robbed of the moisture brought by this current 

by reason of their position close under the highest portions of 

the whole range of the Western Ghats, while Madura and Meliar 

stand farther away from the shelter of those hills and opposite a 

lower portion of them, and thus receive a somewhat larger supply. 

The average fall in the district as a whole during the south-west 

monsoon is smaller than in any other district except Tinnevelly, 

All the taluks share about equally in the rain brought by the 

north-east current. 

The average number of wet days in a year is 53, so that the Liability to 
average fall per rainy day works out to 64 inch, which, though fl^'ods*' 
quite a good shower, is considerably less than is necessary to till 
tanks in a country containing as much porous red soil as does this 
district. Consequently Palni and Dindigul taluks depend greatly 
upon their wells to bring crops to maturity and Tirumangalam, 
where there are no wells, is at the mercy of the seasons. On the 
other hand the disastrous floods which periodically sweep through 
some of the Madras districts are rare in Madura. 

Of the famines and scarcities which visited the country in the Faminrs and 
days before the British occupation, no exact record survives. cakcities.. 
Such things were little accounted of in those days. Native MSS. i^ d'avs " ' 
mention them incidentally, but give no details. A Jesuit letter 
of 1622 says that famine had then been so bad for some years 
that the numerous corpses of those who had died of starvation 
were left unburied. Mention is made of other faraiues ; namely, 
in Tirumala Nayakkan's time; after the troubles of 1659-62, 
when 10,000 Christians alone are said to have perished from want ; 
in 167o, after Venkaji's incursion, which was so severe that, says 
one of the Jesuits, nothing was to be met with in any direction 
save desolation and the silence of the tomb ; in 1678, following a 
deluge caused by excessive rain on the Western Ghats ; in 1709, 
when another great storm was succeeded by a famine which 
seems to bave lasted right up to 1720; and in 1781 in conse- 
quence of Haidar's invasion of the year before. 

In 1799 there was considerable distress round Pindigul and l" 179P. 
the Collector was authorised to purchase grain on Government 
account and distribute it to the people. 


• 162 MADUKA. 

CHAP. VIII. The district again suffered greatly in the three years 1812- 
Famines and X4, and in the early part of the last of these it was found neces- 
ScAEciTiEB. ^^^^ ^^ ^.^^ employment to 42,000 of its people and to advance 
In 1812-14. 2,000 pagodas to the grain-merchants to enable them to import 
foodstuffs from elsewhere. The expenditure on relief in the five 
months from January to May was nearly Es. 3,25,000. 
In 1832 and The next famine occurred in 1832-33. This is generally 

1836. known as the Guntlir famine, as it was most acute in that 

district ; but ib was also severe in Madura, Salem, North Arcot 
and Cuddapah. Four years later, in 1836, there was another 
scarcity in the district. The late rains of that year failed alto- 
gether and led to a prolonged drought. Large remissions had 
to be granted, a number of the poor were employed on public 
works, and the Collector (Mr. Blackburne) ordered relief to be 
distributed from the funds belonging to the Madura temple, 
which were under his administration. 

The loss of population caused by these two famines must 
have been considerable. In 1822 the inhabitants of the Grovern- 
ment taluks of the district numbered 788,196, while at the 
census taken in 1838 they were only 552,477. It is true that 
these enumerations were probably very defective, but tbere is 
no reason to suppose that the former was more accurate than 
the latter ; the presumption, indeed, is just the opposite. The 
decrease in the population must, therefore, be real ; and though 
it is possible that some of it was due to emigration, the greater 
part of it must be ascribed to starvation and epidemic diseases, 
especially cholera. Allowing for the natural increment of popu- 
lation from 1822-38, the decline was at the rate of 39*8 per cent. 
Seven other districts suffered a loss during the same period. 
In 1857. Though a number of the subsequent years were distinctly 

unfavourable and high prices caused much suffering, the next 
really bad season was in 1857. The south-west monsoon of 
that year failed and the north-east gave no rain after October. 
Prices continued at a high level, numbers of people were in 
receipt of relief, aud 'over 40,000 persons emigrated to Ceylon. 
The next year was not much better, but the failure of the crops 
was due to excessive, rather than deficient, rainfall. High 
prices continued and the people suffered much from both cholera 
and fever. 
In 1866. The famine of 1866 was more severe. The monsoons were 

very late, prices rose rapidly, and in September rice was selling 
at 4"2 measures a rupee, ragi was 66 per cent, dearer than in the 
corresponding month of the previous year, and in some parts 



grain was not procurable at any figure. The statistics below CHAP. VIII. 
indicate tlie course of events : — Famines and 


Number relieved. 


and month. 


On works. 



August ... 
October ... 







March ... 









A sum of lis. 14,000 was raised by local subscription and 
Rs. 24,000 were spent on gratuitous relief and Es. 19,000 on 
works. Tlie taluks worst affected were Melur, Dindigul and 

But tlie most serious visitation which Madura has ever had 
to face was the ' great famine ' of 1876-78, which affected dis- 
astrously so many other districts in this Presidency. 

The south-west and north-east monsoons of 187 U both failed. 
3'he latter began propitiously enough with a fall of nearly three 
inches^ but then ceased altogether. By November 15th matters 
were critical and by the end of the year not only were all agri- 
cultural operations at a standstill, but in many places the water 
available was insufficient even for domestic purposes. Sheep 
and cattle in Palni began to die, although the forest reserves 
were thrown open for grazing. The ryots began to sell their 
cattle and other property and to emigrate in thousands to Ceylou 
and elsewhere, leaving their children and wonienkind behind 
them. So great was the crowd at Pamban waiting to get away, 
that the food supplies there ran out, and Government authorised 
the Collector to buy grain and sell it at cost price to the emi- 
grants. Cholera, small-pox and other epidemics also appeared. 
Between July 187G and June 1878, it may here be noted, 120,000 
persons emigrated from the district (including the Eamuad and 
Sivaganga zamindaris) and 20,000 died of cholera. 

The great 
famine of 





(iHAP. VIII. On lltli December 1876 Government placed a first instalment 

[''amines and of Ks. 5,000 at the disposal of the Collector for the opening of 
relief-works, and the Sub-Collector started three centres for 
gratuitous relief round Dindigul on his own responsibility. 

In the early part of 1877 the numbers on relief increased 
so considerably that for purposes of famine administration the 
district was arranged into four divisions ; Mr. C. W. W. Martin, 
the Sub-Collector, taking Dindigul and Palni ; Mr. E. Turner, 
Extra Assistant Collector, Tirumangalam and Periyakulam ; and 
two Deputy Collectors (Messrs. P. Subbaiyar and Tillaindyakam 
Pillai) being in charge of Madura and Melur respectively- The 
District Engineer's staif was also strengthened by the addi- 
tion of several European Assistant Engineers, and a number 
of subordinates of the Survey department were transferred to 
famine duty. 

The figures subjoined (which have been worked out for the 
district without the Hamnad and Sivaganga zamindaris) show 
graphically the progress of the famine from that time forth : — 

Month and year. 

Number of persons on last 
day of month on 

Expenditure on 








March ... 
April .. 








July ... 

Total ... 
















































































It will be seen that things quickly went from had to worse. CHAP. VIII. 
Everyone, however, lived in the hope that the south-west monsoon Famines and 

of 1 877 would be plentiful and put an end to the distress. When, 

therefore, it again turned out a failure, the numbers both on works 
and gratuitous relief increased very seriously, the latter quadru- 
pling between June and August. Grain was poured into the 
district by the railway, which had just been opened, but there 
remained the difficulty of getting it distributed to the outlying 
parts. Weavers were relieved in Dindigul and Palni by giving 
them advances of raw material and paying them the market value 
of the fabrics woven therefrom. Many people died of sheer 
starvation and the records of the time are full of tales of horror — 
children deserted by their mothers, corpses lying un buried by 
the road-sides and so forth. Crime also naturally increased by 
leaps and bounds. Kvery effort was made to reach the worst 
cases of destitution with the money provided by the Mansion 
House Fund, and when at length, in September and October 1877, 
good rain fell, this same money was utilised in assisting ryots to 
start the cultivation of their fields. 

Thereafter the numbers both on works and gratuitous relief 
rapidly declined, but in November and December the little 
progress which had been made with the new crop was checked by 
excessive rain ending (in Kamnad) with the most disastrous floods 
which had been known for years. 

On the last day of the February following, however, matters 
had improved sufficiently to enable the distinction between famine 
and budget works to be revived, and village relief was ordered 
to be discontinued from the last day of March 1878. 

During the fifteen months which bad elapsed since operations 
began in December 1876, Rs. 6'15 lakhs had been spent on 
gratuitous relief in the district and I" 50 lakhs on works. Besides 
these amounts, large sums from the Mansion House Fund had 
also been expended. The indirect cost of the famine to the 
State included over 65- lakhs granted in remissions of assessment, 
as under : — 









Total ... 










166 ' MADUftA. 

CHAP. VIII. Thns the total cost to tlie Q-overnment, direct and indirect, of 

Famines and the famine in this district may be put at 17 lakhs. 


The loss to the people themselves was, of course, infinitely 

greater. It was reported that in Palni there were practically no 
cattle left alive. 

At the census of 1881, taken three years after the famine 
was over, the people of the district were 5 per cent, fewer than 
they had been in 1871, five years before it began. Tirumanga- 
1am taluk evidently suffered more severely than any other, for 
the decline in the population there amounted to no less than 15 
per cent. In Palni and Madura it was 7 per cent, and in Dindi- 
gul 6 per cent. Since then no famine or serious scarcity has 
visited Madura. 
Floods. Few floods have occurred in the district. We are told that 

in December 1677 an extraordinary superabundance of rain on 
the Western Ghats caused a kind of deluge, which swept away 
many low-lying villages with all their inhabitants. On the 18th 
December 1709 a tremendous cyclone appeared. The tempest 
began at 7 a.m. with a strong north-easterly gale and very violent 
rain. This lasted till nearly noon, when the wind and rain 
suddenly ceased and a profound calm followed which continued 
until 5 P.M. The wind then got up again with great suddenness 
from the opposite quarter, the south-west, and blew for most of 
the night with even greater force than in the morning. The 
wind and the rain breached tank after tank until at last a mighty 
wave of water was surging through the district carrying every- 
thing before it ; aud by morning the country was one vast sheet 
of water with only the higher ground appearing above it here 
and there. 

In November 1814 a terrific storm from the south-east swept 
over the neighbourhood of Madura town and destroyed nearly 
3,000 cattle and some 50 herdsmen. 

In December 1843 extraordinary freshes occurred in the 
Vaigai and many tanks were breached. 

In the same month in 1877 the Grundar came down in a most 
unexpected and dangerous flood. The Special Assistant Col- 
lector then in charge of Ramnad zamindari under the Court 
of Wards described in a graphic way how he was riding along 
through jungle when he suddenly heard a noise of rushing water 
and in a few minutes was struggling with his horse in a torrent 
three feet deep. The details of the matter belong to the history of 
Ramnad, and it is enough to mention here that the river swept 
during the night through the famine camp which had been pitched 


in its bed at Tiruchuli and drowned about 20 people there before CHAP. viii. 
they could escape ; travelled to Kainudi and washed away the Floods. 
wall of the temple and a thousand yards of the big embankment 
there ; and then rushed across country, breaching nearly every 
tank in the south-west of the zamindari, until the whole of that 
side of the district was covered with one wide sheet of water. 

In 1884 an unusually high flood in the Vaigai topped the road 
to the west of Madura and flowed into the Anuppanadi channel, 
but no great damage was done except to the newly-opened 
water-works mentioned on p. 22^. 






General Health — Cholera — Fever — Small-pcx— Madura foot — Vital Statis- 
tics. Medical Institutions — American Mission hospitals and dispensaries 
— The Madura hospital — The Dindignl hospital— Other institutions. 

HAP. IX. The frequency of cliolera and fever in Madura is at present 
General too great to warrant the inclusion of the district among- those 
which are clearly healthy to native constitutions. Europeans 
have the advantage of Kodaikanal as a haven of refuge from the 
usual effects of a tropical climate, but othervrise do not find the 
district invigorating. To both classes the high and dry land 
round about Dindigul and Palni is better suited than the Vaigai 
valley, and both find the atmosphere of Madura town itself debi- 
litating and unwholesome. Hence the movement of the residences 
of the head-quarter officials (see p. 261) to the new site on the 
race-course on the opposite side of the river. 

Cholera is an ancient enemy of the country. A letter from the 
Jesuit missionary Robert de' Nobili, dated as far back as April 
1609, speaks of the ravages of a virulent epidemic disease which 
he calls mordechin, and Father Martin, writing in 1701, gives an 
account of this which makes it clear that it was none other than 
cholera. Tule and Burnell say that mordechin is a fanciful 
French corruption of modachi, the Konkani and Marathi name for 
the disease. The remedy favoured by the Jesuit fathers for the 
cure of choleraic attacks was the application of a red hot sickle to 
the soles of the patient's feet. If he did not move when this was 
applied, they naively observe, his case was hopeless. 

Severe epidemics of cholera are reported to have occurred in 
1815, 1818, 1819, 1820, 1831 to 1837, 1839, 1843, 1850 to 1852, 
I 853, 1858, 1859, 1861, 1864 and 1865. In 187f), 11,600 persons 
died of the disease and 15,600 in 1877. Since then, the worst 
years have been 1891 (6,800 deaths), 1897 (8,:i00) and 1900 
(5,800), but in no single year since 1871, with the two solitary 
exceptions of 1874 and 1886, has Madura been entirely free from 
this scourge. The festivals at the temples at Madura, Palni, and 
Rdmesvaram used to be the great centres for its propagation, but 
these are now more carefully watched than formerly. Statistics 
of the deaths from cholera and certain other causes in recent 
years will be found in the separate Appendix to this volume. 


Malarial fever is endemic in most of llie country close under tlie CHAP. IX. 
numerous hill-rang-cs of the district, bucIi as the tracts lying- Genehai, 
among the Nattarn liills, at the head of the Kambam valley and Health. 
at the foot of the Palnis. The Sirumalai hills are also themselves Fever, 
exceeding-ly malarious. 

In the early years of ilie last century, however, some sort of 
fever created havoc all over the district and not only in the 
country near the hills. It was especially virulent in the three 
years 1809 to JSll, and is constantly referred to in the old 
records. In his jamahandi report for fasli 1221 the Collector said 
that 13,000 people had died of it in ton months, aud that those who 
had escaped with their lives were almost all prostrated from its 
effects. Cultivation and business had everywhere Iteen inter- 
rupted; the ryots were unable to work in the fields; the nattam- 
gars could hardly crawl to the cutcherries for their pattas ; the 
gumastahs were too ill to prepare the accounts ; and he himself 
was not strong enough to write the report and had been obliged 
to order his Head Assistant to do it for him. 

A Committee investigated the disease and reported in 1816 at 
great length upon its nature and its supposed causes. It re- 
appeared in that year and again, in a severe form, in 1818, 1819, 
1820, lb39, 1840, 18^5, 1800, 1851, 1854 (when it was especially 
malignant), 1^55, 1856, 1858, 1859, lS-61, 18()3, 1864 and 1865. 
But in some of these years it was confined to limited areas. 
Sometimes, it was paid, whole villages were decimated by it in a 
few days. Since that time it has not visited the district. Over 
one-third of all the deaths in Madura since 1883 have, it is true, 
been attributed to 'fever,^ but probably (as elsewhere) many 
diseases are so entered which are beyond the powers of diagnosis 
possessed by the heads of villages who are responsible for the 

Small-pox is not particularly common. The worst years since Small-pox. 
1871 hctve been 1872 (4,491 deaths), 1877 (3,161) and 1891 
(2,783). In the decade 1883-1892 the disease caused 555 deaths 
out of every 10,000 and in the quinquennium 1898-1902, 343 out 
of the same number. Vaccination is compulsory in all the unions 
aad municipalities. 

A disease worth special mention is ' Madura foot/ or Madura 
mycetoma. In this Presidency it is especially common in the '*^^^- 
Madura district and (in the same way that elephantiasis is often 
called ' Cochin leg ') it gets its popular name from tins fact. It 
consists in a marked swelling of the foot (or occasionally of the 
hand) and is popularly supposed to be confined to the tracla 
covered with black cotton-soil. 




CHAP. IX. The earliest, uotice of the disease was hj Ksempfer in 1712.^ 

GENERAL Jts more modern history began with Godfrey, of Madras, who 

' gave a description of several undoubted examples of it in the 

Lancet of June 10th, 1843. The merit of biinging the disease 
prominently to notice, of distinctly describing its clinical and 
anatomical features, as well as of suggesting its probable patho- 
logy, belongs entirely to Vandyke Carter, who, from 1860 to 1874, 
in a series of important papers, furnished the information on 
which all later descriptions have been principally founded. 

The disease is not confined to India, but occurs with some 
degree of frequency in Senegambia and, more rarely, in Algeria, 
Italy and Cochin-China. In India, it is endemic in more or less 
limited areas which are scattered over a wide extent of country 
and separated by tracts which are almost completely immune. 
Besides Madura, it is said ^ to be prevalent in the Proddatur, 
Jammalamadugu and Pulivendla taluks of the Cuddapah district 
(chiefly on the cotton-soil arpas in them) and it is common in the 
Punjab, Kashmir and Eajputana. It appears to be acquired only 
in rural areas, the inhabitants of towns being exempt. 

Mycetoma begins usually, but by no means invai-iably, on the 
sole of the foot, the first indication of its presence being a small 
round painless swelling perhaps half an inch in diameter. After 
a month or more, this swelling will soften and rupture, discharg- 
ing a peculiar viscid fluid containing in suspension minute round 
particles (compared by some to fish-roe) which are either grey, 
yellow or black. In time other similar swellings appear and go 
through the same process, leaving sinuses which do not heal. 
Gradually the foot enlarges to two or three times its normal size, 
the sole becomes convex so that the toes do not touch the ground, 
the tissues soften and the whole of the member is covered with 
the discharging sinuses. 

As the foot enlarges, the leg atrophies from disuse, so that in 
advanced cases an enormously swollen foot is attached to a leg 
which is little more than skin and bone. Unless treated, the 
patient dies after ten or twenty vears, worn out by the continued 

Three varieties of the disease have been recognised — the white, 
the black and the red— of which the last is very rare. It is due 
to a ray fungus which is allied to the actinomyses which in some 
places causes an affection (actinomycosis) among cattle which has 

^ See Mansou's Tropical Diseases (Cassel & Co., 1898), from wbioli the 
following particulars are abstracted. 
* Cuddapiih Diitrict Manual, 193. 


been communicated to man. How this enters the foot is not yet CHAP. IX. 
certain. It is conjectured that it may be a usual parasite on General 
some plant, and that it finds its way into the tissues through H^^"- 
a wound in the skin. This theory is supported by the facts that 
the disease occurs almost invariably on the feet and hands, and 
principally among the barefooted ryots. If the harm has not 
proceeded far, free excision of the affected parts will stop it ; but 
in more advanced cases amputation is the only remedy yet known. 

Statistics of the recorded rates of births and deaths will be ^'^^^^ 
found in the Appendix. Eegistration of these events is now ^^^^•'^^^*^''- 
compulsory in all the anions and municipalities in the district. 
The figures are probably as reliable as elsewhere. They show 
among other things, that the hot weather is much more healthy 
than the rains. 

The medical institutions of the district comprise 6ve municipal, Medical 
three local board, and two mission, hospitals, and three municipal, ^nstitutioms. 
twelve local board, and one naission, dispensaries. Statistics of 
the attendance at, and expenditure on, the municipal and local 
board institutions are given in the Appendix. 

Tne mission hospitals are that for women and children in American 
Madura town, near the site of the east gate of the old fort, which ^^*"*'o° 
was opened by the American Mission in 1898 (the cases treated and ' 
in which numbered 15,501) in 1904) and the well-equipped Albert '^'spf^nsarieH. 
Victor hospital (commonly known, from the name of the surgeon 
who originated it, as the Van Allen hospital) belonging- to the same 
body, wliere there is accommodation for ^8 in-patients and the 
out-patients treated in which numbered 20,800 in 1904. This 
latter was erected at a cost of Hs. 42,000 (nearly all subscribed by 
natives of the district), was opened by Sir Arthur Havelock in 
1897, and is supported by annual subscriptions from the Ndttu- 
kottai Chettis, the Lessees of Sivaganga and others, aided by grants 
from the municipality, the District Board and the mission. The 
mission also maintains a dispensary at Pasumalai. 

Of all the medical institutions the oldest is the municipal Tlie Madura 
hospital at Madura. It was opened in May 1842 in the old guard- ho«pital. 
room over the remains of the west gate of the Madura fort (see 
p. 266) where the maternity hospital (opened in 1863) is now 
located. In 1843 the rooms on the north side of the platform 
over this gateway, behind the guard- room, were erected for it 
In 18(32 the Collector, Mr. Vere Levinge, set on foot a public 
subscription for the provision of proper accommodation for the 
institution and for a maternity hospital. About Rs. 67,000 were 
collected among the natives of the district and part of this was 









spent in putting- up new buildings and part in constructing, as an 
investment for tlie liospital, the bungalow in which the European 
Club at Madura is now located. The land round the site on 
which this stands had, it was said, been used for Sir Thomas 
Munro's camp wlien he once came to Madura as Governor, and 
ever afterwards it had continued to be reserved in case another 
Governor might similarly require it. Mr. Levinge levelled it 
with convict labour, sold part of it by auction and reserved one 
portion for the new bungalow. This last was apparently trans- 
ferred to the municipal council, which now receives the rent of it, 
when the two hospitals were vested in that body in 1872 The 
erection of the excellent range of buildings in which the hospital 
is now located was sanctioned in May 1903, the estimate amount- 
ing to Es 1,03,500. The cost of two of the wards was borne 
by M.R.Ry. A. L. A. R. Arnndchala Chetti of Devikottai and 
M.R.Ry. P. L. R. M- Shanmuga Chetti of Moraiyur, the District 
Board contributed Rs. 10,000, and the municipal council provided 
the remainder. From 1875 to 1887 a medical school for training 
hospital assistants existed in connection with the institution. Jn 
addition to this and the maternity hospital, the municipality keeps 
up a branch dispensary, opened in July 1876, and a dispensary for 
women and children, originated in 1894. 

After that at Madura, the next most prominent hospital in the 
district is that maintained by the manicipality of Dindigul. For 
many years the Rev. E. Chester, m.d., of the American Mission, 
who was engaged in medical work in the town from 1860 until 
his death there in 1902, managed a hospital in Dindigul which 
was aided from local and municipal funds. In 1899 the munici- 
pality started an institution of its own in a rented building. 
Five years earlier a dispensary for women and children liad lieon 
opened, also in a rented house. Roth these buildings were 
repeatedly condemned as unsuitable, and the Government has 
recently sanctioned Rs. 21,000 from Provincial Funds for the 
erection of a new building to hold both institutions. To this a 
sum of about Bs. 3,000, which lias been collected towards a 
memorial to Dr. Chester, is to be add('<l and, at the suggestion 
of the municipal council, the building is to be called the ' Chester 

The municipalities of Palni, Periyakulaui and KodaikanrJ also 
maintain hospitals. The first two of these institutions were 
opened in 1872 and the last in 1873. Hospitals are kept up by 
the local boards in Bodinayakkanur (started in 1880), Uttama- 
pdlaiyam (1873) and Usilampatti (1876). 



In addition to tlie three municipal dispensaries at Madura CHAP. IX. 
and Dindigul already mentioned, others liave been maintained Medical 
from local funds at the places, and since the dates, noted Lelow : 
In Dindigul taluk, Kannivadi (1884) and Yedasandur (1879j ; 
in Kodaikanal, Tdndikkudi (1891) ; in AJolur taluk, Mel6r (1879) 
and Nattam (1888); in Nilakkottai taluk, Nilakkottai (1891); 
Solavandan (1 888) and Yattilagundu (1881) ; in Palni, Sattirapatti 
(1897) ; in Periyakalam, Andipatti (1891) ; and in Tiriimangalam, 
Saptur (1888) and Tiruiuangalam itself (l&7;i). Except those at 
Melur, Nattam, Nilakkottai, iSolavanddn and Tirumangalam, all 
these are located in rented buildings. 

174 MADDRA. 


Karly' History — The tliree Sangams— The new Sangarn — Education under 
the Nd^akkans. Census Statistics— Figures by religions and tuluks. 
Educational Institutions — The Pasumalai College — The Afadura C(jllege 
— Upper secondary fscliools — fjower secondary schools— Other schools 
— Newspapers, etc., 

CHAP. X. Madura was famous as a seat of learning in very early times. 
Earlt Tradition says that the Pandya capital was the home, at different 

^^ ' periods, of three different Sangams, or bodies somewhat similar 

The throe f,,, fhe existing French Academy, which sat in judgment on literary 
angams, -works submitted for their approval and without whose imprtmatur 
no composition could hope for a favourable reception. The first 
of these was at the old capital of the Madura country which (see 
p. 28) was swept away by the sea ; the second at Kapddapuram, 
its successor as the (.-liief town of the Pandyas ; and the third was 
at the present town of Madura. 

Fabulous stories are told of this last. The Madura st//ala 
puyiiua recounts a long tale of how Sarasvati, the goddess of 
learning, was impudent to Brahma and was accordingly visited 
by him with a curse compelling her to undergo forty-eight 
successive births on earth. Afterwards, relenting somewhat, he 
allowed the sentences to run concurrently ; and a forty-eighth 
part of her soul was thereupon transfused into each of forty-eight 
mortals who became poets of transcendent excellence, were received 
with honour by the Pandyan king, and formed the Sangam. 
Tiiey were, however, constantly annoyed by the absurd pretensions 
of others who claimed to be their equals, and at length Siva gave 
them a diamond bench which contracted and expanded so as just 
to accommodate those of the forty-eight who were present and no 
more, and thus prevented any unworthy aspiraut from attempting 
to take his seat among them. When at last, says another tale, 
Tiruvalluvar, the Faraiyau composer of the famous Rural, 
brought his work for the .approval of the Sangam, its members 
declined to ' crown ' it ; but the miraculous bench, knowing 
the worth of the book, expanded to make room for it, and the 
book then in its turn grew bigger and bigger and pushed all the 
forty -eight off their eat.s 


Native literary critics of mucli repute have held that it is CHAi'. X. 
doubtful whether any Sang-am ever existed at all ; but the weight Karlv 

of opinion is in favour of the theory that the third of tliem is an ^^^ 

historical fact and tliat it flourislied in the early years of the 
present era. Mr. Kanakasabhai Pillai ^ gives the sober version of 
its reception of tlie Kural in tlio time of the Pandyan king Ugra- 
peru-vabati (see p. 27 above). 

The 'New Madura Tamil Sangam,' a flourishing literary t hp now 
society, was established in 1901. Its object is the improvement Sjiigam. 
of the Tamil language ; its income from endowments is returned 
as Rs. 4,850, and from subscriptions Rs. 10,974 ; its supporters 
include the Raja of Pndukkottai and many well-known natives 
of Madura, and the members number 525 ; it maintains a boarding 
institution in Madura where Sanskrit. Tamil and English arc 
taught ; possesses a library of 3,800 books and manuscripts in 
these thiee languages ; issues a monthly journal from a press of its 
own ; holds examinations and awards medals to those who are suc- 
cessful in them ; and conducts original research and the editing of 
ancient Tamil works. 

Under the Nayakkan rulers, tlie education of Brdhmans Education 
(apparently other classes wore neglected) was subsidised by the under the 
state on an unparalleled scale. The Jesuit missionary Hobert "^ *^ 
de' Nobili wrote in 1610 that more than ten thousand Brahmans 
were being taught, boarded and lodged at the ]niblic cost in 
Madura, and that the courses of tuition provided not only for the 
instruction of boys, but for the education of adults in philosophy 
and theology. Sanskrit, and not Tamil, was the medium of 
instruction. The fall of the Nayakkans put an end to these classes, 
and in the disturbed times which followed education seems to have 
been almost entirely neglected. "When the English first acquired 
the country hardly any one in rural parts except a few hereditary 
village accountants and headmen seems to have been able to read 
and write, and the Tamil Jin'ihmans in the towns were so ignorant 
that, as elsewhere, Marathas and other foreigners had to be called 
in by the Government to do its work, the records were kept in 
Marathi, and this tongue became almost the official language. 
The American Mission (see below) wore the first to re-introduce 
systematic education in tlie district, and it was not until 1856 
that the first Government Zilla school, referred to later, was 

In the separate Appendix to this volume will bo found tlio Cknsur 
chief statistics of the last census and of the Educational department Statistics. 

' The Tami/.s eighteen hundred year.s ago, 138-140. 

176 MADURA. 

CIIAF. X. regarding- tho present state of education in Madura. The census 
Tkn-sis sliowed tliat in tlie literacy of tlie males among its population the 
rA tTsii cs. rligtrict ranked sixth in tlie Presidency, but tliat it came only 
fourteenth in the education of its girls. Taking both sexes 
together, the number of people in it who know how to read and 
write is slightly below the average of the southern districts and 
numbers just over seven per cent, Tamil is the language most 
generally known and only three persons in every thousand can 
read and write English. Among the eleven towns in the Presi- 
dency which contain over 5U,000 inhabitants, Madura ranks 
sixth in the education of its males and eighth in the literacy of the 
other sex. 
Figures by Figures of education among the followers of the different 

talukV '^""^ religions show that (as in several other districts) the males among 
the Musalmans are better educated than those of any other faith. 
The Madura Musalmans are mainly Ravutans, a pushing commer- 
cial class to whom a knowledge of reading and writing is essential. 
Next to them, but a long way behind, come the males among the 
Christians, and the Hindus of that sex bring up the rear. In the 
literacy of their girls, however, the Cliristians, as usual, easily take 
the first place among the three religions, neither the Musalmans 
nor the Hindus even approaching their standard. 

Education is most advanced, as is natural, in the head-quarter 
taluk of Madura. Excluding Kodaikanal, the conditions in which 
are exceptional, Periyakulam comes next. Between the other 
taluks there is not much to i choose, but Tirumangalaui is at the 
bottom of the list. 
EDccATiOiNAL Thc cducatioual institutions of the district include two colleges ; 

N'sriTunoxs. j^^j^^i^.^ ^]-^^^ formerly maintained by the American Mission at 
Pasumalai, 2| miles from Madura, but now transferred to Madura 
itself, and the Madura College. 
The Pasuuia- The former is the older. It originated in a seminary which 

lai College. was opened at Tirumangalam in 1842 and moved to Pasumalai 
three years later. The original object of the mission was to 
provide in this school a high class education for youths of all reli- 
gions, the Bible and the tenets of the Christian faith being 
included in the curriculum. But alterations and re- alterations of 
this plan took place, owing to changes in the views of the authorities 
upon the question whether the work of the institution should be 
confined to the instruction of candidates for missionary labours, 
or so extended as to include non-Christian students as well. In 
1875 it was resolved that the latter of these plans should be 
followed, and subsequently the department for the training of 
missionary agents was separated from the rest of the institution. 


In 1882 the school was raised to the position of a second-grade CHAP. X. 
college, but the high and middle school classes were retained. In Educational 
1886 a normal school with a primary practising branch was added, nstitutions. 
and in 1892 the first of its hostels was opened. The institution 
now stands on a site some 50 acres in extent, which inclndes tennis 
courts and a field for football and cricket, and is accommodated in 
buildings which have cost over Es. 80,000. It has a consulting 
and general library, its own press, and an. endowment fund the 
interest of which is devoted to scholarships. The college classes 
have very recently been moved to the mission's high school 
building in Madura, as Pasumalai is so far from the town, and a 
proposal is on foot to construct, from the mission's share of Mr. 
Eockefeller's recent munifkent gift in furtherance of education, a 
new college building on a site belonging to the mission near the 
Collector's residence 

The Madura College is a development of the Grovernment Zilla Tho Madura 
school which was established in March 1856 as an outcome of the ^'^^'®^®- 
Directors' famous despatch of 1854 on education. It was at first 
located in the north-east corner of the great arcade of Tirumala 
Ndyakkan'g palace ; and, on this being pronounced likely to fall 
down, was moved to the Naubat khana, or music pavilion of tho 
palace, which then stood near the Ten Pillars (see p. 274), was 
afterwards used as the Police head-quarter office, was eventually 
pulled down because it was unsafe, and the site of which is now 
occupied by the Patnulkarans' primary school. About 18ti5 the 
Zilla school was moved to a building near the railway-station 
(apparently erected partly from public subscriptions) which now 
forms part of the existing college. In March 1880 a colleo-e 
department was opened in the institution, but this was abolished 
in 1888. In the next year the school building and library were 
lent to the committee which was managing the then Native High 
School and this body started the present college. The institution 
was affiliated to the University in the same year. In 1891 the 
extension of the premises at a cost of Es. 11,750 was. sanctioned 
and in the following year the new block was opened by Lord 
Wenlock. The attendance in the college classes is about 120. 
The institution is now managed by a committee of native gentle- 
men. Attaclied to it are three lower secondary branches located 
in rented buildings. 

The upper secondary schools of the district are six in number • Upper 
namely, that maintained at Dindigul by the municipality, those in ^scondsiy 
Madura kept up by the American Mission, the Patntjlkdran com- ®°'^°°''* 
munity and the committee of the Madura College (the ' SetuiDati 











High School '), the American Mission's school for girls in the same 
town, and the school maintained at Periyakulam by M.E.Ry. 
V. Kdmabhadra Ndyudu, the present representative of the old 
poligars of Vadakarai (see p. 323). 

Lower secondary schools for boys number twelve, and comprise 
those kept up by the American Mission at Dindigul and Meliir 
and by the Roman Catholic Mission at Madura, the Dindigul 
Muhamraadan school, the schools at Solavanddn, Madura, Palni, 
M^lamangalam (near Periyakulam), Uttamapalaiyam, Bodinayak- 
kanur and Tirumangalam, and the general education branch of the 
local board's Technical Institute at Madura. Schools of the same 
grade for girls are three in number ; namely, the Government 
school at Dindigul, the American Mission practising institution at 
Madura and the South Indian Railway's school for European girls 
in the same town. 

Government maintains a training school for masters at Madura, 
the local boards have a sessional school, and the American 
Mission keeps up a training school for masters at Pasumalai and 
another for mistresses at Madura. 

Excluding classes for book-keeping, type-writing and the like, 
the only technical instruction obtainable is that given in the local 
board's Technical Institute opposite the railway-station at Madura. 
There, besides those learning drawing, about 100 pupils are being 
taught calnnet-making, metal-work, etc. 

Some 190 boys are instructed in the Vedas and Sastras in a 
number of pdthasdias kept up in various parts of the district at the 
cost of the N^ttukottai Chettis and others. 

Five newspapers or periodicals are published in Madura. The 
American Mission issues a fortnightly English and Tamil paper 
and a monthly Tamil periodical, both of which are devoted mainly 
to religious matters ; the Tamil Sangam has its own organ (a 
Tamil monthly) ; and there are two newspapers, namely, the 
Tamil monthly Viveka Bhdnu with a circulation of about 800 
copies and the South Indian Mail, an English weekly with a 
circulation of 400. 



RicvEXUE History — Nat'vo revemie pyatems — Methods of the Nayakkans— Of 
the Marathas — And of the later renters — British administration : in the 
DindigTil country— Mr. McLeod, first Collector, 1790 — Jlis incapacity— Mr. 
Wynch and his n;aladministration, 1794 — Commission of eucjuiry, 179G — Mr. 
Hurdis' CoHcctorship — Order restored and survey and scittlement begun, 
1800 — Principles of these— Miscellaneous taxes — The financial results — 
Mr. Parish becomes Collect?r~The district declines, 1805 — Mr. Hodgson's 
report upon it — Triennial village leases, 1808-10 —Mr. Rous Peter's reductions 
in the assessments, 182.3 — Further reductions, 1831 — Abolition of vdnpayir 
assessments, 1854— Unsettled palaiyams — British administration in the 
Madura country — Difficulties at the outset— Formal cession of the country, 
1801 — Early settlements in it — The various land tenures — Government land 
— Hafta devastanam — Sibbandi porv/ppv, — Jivitham — Poruppu villages — 
Church mdniyams — Cliattrani land — Arai-l(attalai — Arai-kattalai villages— 
Ardhamo nit/am, etc. — Defects of the settlement — Triennial leases and the 
ryotwari system — Reductions in assessments. The existing Survey and 
Settlement, 1885-89 — Principles followed — Rates prescribed — Resultant 
effects — Settlement of hill villages. Inams. Existing Divisional Charges. 
Appendix, List of Collectors. 

Of the details of the revenue systems in force under the various CHAP. XI. 
native governments which held the Madura country before it came Revenlb 
into the possession of the English, exceedingly little is known. H istor y. 
Besides the land-tax proper, there were several smaller imposts on Native 
the soil. Among these (in Tirumala Nayakkan's time at least ; 
no continuous particulars are available) were the plough-tax, which 
required owners of land to furnish the Ndyakkan when called upon 
with one labourer, free of charge, for every plough they owned ; 
the ferry tax for the upkeep of the public ferries on the rivers ; the 
kdvali-vari, or tax for providing crop watchers ; and the ter-uliyam, 
or car-service, which required each village to provide a fixed quota 
of men to drag the great temple cars. Also every kind of art and 
profession was taxed. 

' Every weaver's loom paid so much per annum ; and every iron- 
smelter's furnace ; every oil-mill ; every retail shop ; every house 
occupied hj an artificer ; and every indigo vat. Every colloctur of wild 
honey M'as taxed ; every maker and seller of clarified butter ; every 
owner of carriage bullocks. Even stones in the beds of rivers, used by 

' The early part of this chapter is for the most part an abridgment of the 
full account of the matter given by Mr. Nelson in the 19G pages of Part IV of 
his book. 






Methods of 
the Nayak- 

washermen to beat clothes on, paid a small tax. In the towns there 
were octroi dutins on grain and other commodities brought through 
the gates. And lastly there were the land customs.' 

The revenue from the land was however always the chief main- 
stay of the public exchequer. Tradition ^ says that under the 
Yijayanagar kings (it is useless to attempt to trace matters 
further back) the state was held to be entitled to one-half of 
the gross produce of all land cultivated. This revenue was realised 
by parcelling out the greater part of the country — the Nayakkan's 
private estates and the favourable grants to temples, charities and 
Brahmans were excepted — among the poligars already (p. 42) 
referred to, and entrusting them with the collection of it subject 
to certain payments and services. The rapacity of these men and 
their servants was usually limited only by the inability of the ryot 
to pay, or by his success in deceiving or bribing the collecting 
staff ; and oppression was rampant. 

After the disruption of the Vijayanagar dynasty in 1565 at the 
battle of Talikota, these methods still continued ; but they were 
complicated by the fact that the Ndyakkans of Madura frequently 
declined to pay their dues to their nominal suzerains, the fallen 
kings of that line. The system and its deplorable results are 
graphically described in a letter from a Jesuit priest, dated Madura, 
30th August 1611, which is preserved in La Mission du Madure 
and may be rendered as under : — 

' The king, or great Nayakkan, of Madura has only a few estates 
which depend immediately upon him, that is to say which are his 
own property (for in this country the great are the sole proprietors 
and the common people are merely their tenants) and all the rest of 
the land belongs to a crowd of small princes or tributary poligars. 
These last have, each in his own estate, the entire administration of 
the police and of justice — if justice it can ever be called— and they 
levy the revenue (which comprises at least half the produce of the soil) 
and divide it into three parts. Of these, the first is set aside as tribute 
to the great Nayakkan, the second is allotted for the upkeep of the 
troops with which the poligar is obliged to furnish him in case of war 
and the third goes to the poligar himself. The great Nayakkan of 
Madura, and also those of Tanjore and Gingee, are themselves tribu- 
tary to the king of Vijayanngar, to whom thoy have each to pay 
annually irom six to ten million francs. But they are not regular in 
sending these amounts, often make delay, sometimes even refuse 
insolently to pay at aU ; and then the king of Vijayanagar appears, 
or sends one of his generals, at the head of 100,000 men to collect the 
arrears with interest. When this happens (as it often does) it is once 
more the poor common people who pay for the fault of their princes \ 

^ Sir Thomas Munro's report cited in the BeUarij Gazetteer, 150. 


the whole country is devastated, and the inhabitants are piUaged or CHAP. XI. 
massacred.' Kevenuk 

After the Marathas came into power, things were even worse ; Historv. 
for John de Britto, an eye-witness of what he described, wrote of of the 
the neighbouring Tanjore country in 1683 that — Marathus. 

' Ekoji (the Maratha king) levies four-fifths of all the produce. 
As if that were not enough, instead of accepting this ehare in kind he 
makes the ryots pay in money. Aad since he is careful to fix the 
price himself at a figure much above that which the cultivator can 
get, the proceeds of the sale of the whole of the crop are insufficient 
to meet the land assessment. Thus the ryots linger under the weight 
of a crushing debt and are often pat to crael tortures to prove their 
inability to pay. You will hardly be able to realize such oppression, 
and yet I must add that the tyranny in the Gingee kingdom is even 
more frightful and revolting. But I will say no more on the matter, 
for words fail me to express its horrors.' 

Under the Musalmans, the Madura country (like other parts 
of the Presidency) was usually rented out to farmers for fixed 
suras, the farmers being left to make wlmt profits they could by 
grinding the faces of the ryots. 

About 1742, as has been seen above (p. 69), the province And of the 
of Dindigul was leased in this manner by the Eaja of Mysore to ^^tcr renters. 
Birki Yenkata Bao ; in 17o5 Madura proper and Tinnevelly were 
similarly rented by Colonel Heron to Mahfuz Khdn for fifteen 
lakhs of rupees and in 1758 to Muhammad Yi'tsuf for five laklis ; 
in 1772 Haidar AH of Mysore leased the Dindigul country to his 
brother-in-law Mir Sal\ib, and in 1784 Tipu Sultan leased it to Mir 
Sahib's nephew Saiyad 8ahib. In fact the land revenue in most 
of the area which now makes up the district was administered 
in this way up to the time when the British obtained final posses- 
sion of it. These renters were usually tyrants of the worst 
description. Colonel Fullarton wrote that the object of each of 
them — 

* Too frequently was to ransack and embezzle, that he may go off 
at last enriched with the spoils of his province. The fact is, that in 
every part of India where the Renters are established, not only the 
ryot and the husbandman, but the manufacturer, the artificer, and 
every other Indian inhabitant, is wholly at the mercy o£ those 
ministers of public pxaction. The established practice throughout 
this part of the Peninsula has for ages been, to allow the farmer one- 
half of the produce of his cro]i for the maintenano of his family, and 
the re-c\iltivation of the land ; Avhile the other is appropriated to the 
Circar. In the richest soils, under tho cowln of Haidar. producing 
three annual crops, it is hardly known that less than forty per cent, 
of the crop produced has been allotted to the husbandman. Yet 

182 MADURA. 

CHAP. XI. Renters on the coast liave not scrupled to imprison reputable farmers, 
REfENOK andtoinQict on them extreme severities of punishment, for refusing 
History. to accept of sixteen 'in the hundred, as the jiroportion out of which 
they were to maintain a family, to furnish stock and implements of 
husbandry, cattle, seed, and all expenses incidental to the cultivation 
of their lands. But should the unfortunate ryot be forced to submit 
to such conditions, he has still a long list of cruel impositions to 
endure. He must labour week after week at the repair of water- 
courses, tanks, and embankments of rivers. His cattle, sheep, and 
every other portion of his property is at the disposal of the Renter, 
and his life might pay the forfeit of refusal. Should he presume 
to reap his harvest when ripe, without a mandate from the Renter, 
whose peons, conicopolies, and retainers attend on the occasion, 
nothing short of bodily torture and a confiscation of the little that 
is left him, could expiate the offence. Would he sell any part of his 
scanty portion, he cannot be permitted while the Circar has any 
to dispose of ; Avould he convey anything to a distant market, he is 
stopped at every village by the collectors of Sunkum or Gabella, who 
exact a duty for every article exported, imported, or disposed of. So 
uDsupportable is this evil, that between Negapatam and Palghaut- 
clierry, not more than three hundred miles, there are about thirty 
places of collection, or, in other words, a tax is levied every ten miles 
upon the produce of the country ; thus manufacture ■ and commerce 
are exposed to disasters hardly less severe than those which have occa- 
sioned the decline of cultivation. 

' But these form only a small proportion of the powers with which 
the Renter is invested. He may sink or raise the exchange of specie 
at his own discretion ; he may preveut the sale of grain, or sell it at 
the most exorbitant rates ; thus at any time he may, and frequently 
does, occasion general famine. Besides maintaining a useless rabble, 
whom he emploj's under the appellation of peons, at the public 
expense, he may require any military force he finds necessary for the 
business of oppression, and few inferior officers would have weight 
enough to justify their refusal of such aid. Should any one, however, 
dispute those powers, should the military officers refuse to prostitute 
military service to the distress of wretched individuals, or should the 
Civil Superintendent remonstrate against such abuse, nothing could 
be more pleasing to the Renter ; he derives, from thence, innumerable 
arguments for non-performance of engagements, and for a long list 
of defalcations. But there are still some other not less extraordinary 
constituents in the complex endowments of a Renter. He unites, in 
his own person, all the branches of judicial or civil authority, and if 
he happens to be a Brahman, he may also be termed the representative 
of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. I will not enlarge on the consequences 
of thus huddling into the person of one wretched mercenary all those 
powers that ought to constitute the dignity and lustre of supreme 
executive authority.' 



After the district came into Britisli possession in 1790 the CHAP. XI. 
revenue history of the Dindigul country differed altogether for Eevexce 
many years from that of Madura proper, and it may conveniently ^^^»^'- 
be dealt -with first. British 

The Dindigul territory, as has already (p. 71) been seen, was tionrSuthe 
obtained by conquest from Mysore in August 1790, and ceded for- ^^"^/f"' 

raaUy in 1 792. When first it was 
acquired it consisted of four* 
estates or palaiyams (' pollems ') 
which were in the possession 
of their owners ; four f which had 
been sequestered in 1785-8G by 
Saiyad Sahib ; and some incon- 
siderable extent of Government 
land included in which were four J 
more which had been resumed 
many years before. Shortly after 
the acquisition, fourteen ^ estates 
which had been resumed by Tipu 
in 1788 on account of the arrears 
of tribute in them, and had been 
temporarily attached by him to 
the province of Sankaridrug (in 
Salem district), were restored to 
their former ownt-rs and re- 
annexed to the Dindigul country, 
and this therefore at that time 
comprised 2f)'iestates making up 
roughly tlie present Dindigul, 
Palni and Peri\akulam taluks 
and the west of Nilakkottai. 
Some account of the various palaiyams will be found in Cliapter 
XV below. The Mysore Government had apparently not inter- 
fered in the management of the four which were in tlie possession 
of their owners, but had leased out the otliers, and also the Sirkar 
land, to renters. 

Immediately aftei- the acquisition of the province, General 
Medows, who was commanding in the south, placed it temporarily 
in the charge of one A'enkatappa Nayakkan, who made hay while 
the sun shone and! went off at once with all the accounts. 

On the 6th of.ltlie following month (September 1790) Mr. 
Alexander McLeod^ arrived and took charge as Collector. His 

* Idaiyanfcdttai. 

t Eriyddu. 


Palni (appai'ently including Ayak- 

kudi and Eottayambadi). 

X D^v.adanapatti. 

§ Ambaturai, 




Erasakkanayakkantir . 





Palliyappanayakkanur (now called 


' In the Appendix to this chapter will be found a list of the various Collectors 
of Madura from this time forth up to date. 

Mr. McLeod, 






His incapa- 

position was one of mucli difficulty, and he was quite unequal to 
it ; and the four jears during- which he endeavoured to administer 
the country were marked by confusion bordering- on anarchy. 

Each year, he assessed the peshkash due from the various 
estates, the amounts purporting to be fixed on the basis of estab- 
lished usag-e and of estimates of the outturn of crops furnished 
by the poligars and their officials ; but, as Yenkatappa had made 
off with such accounts as there were, it seems clear that these pay- 
ments were regulated more by chance than by precedent or equity. 
The Government land (which was divided into the six ^taluks of 
Tadikkombu (the kasba), Periyakulam, Vattilagundu, Andipatti, 
Uttamapalaiyam and Kambam) was annually leased either in blocks 
for fixed sums to renters, or village by village to the headmen. 
The renters treated the ryots after the barbarous manner of their 
kind already described above, but the headmen lessees paid (as 
elsewhere) fixed money rates (the details of which are not now 
ascertainable) for dry land, and for wet land one half of the gross 
produce after the swafanirams (or fees due to village officers and 
others) had been deducted therefrom. 

But the whole country was constantly in disorder. In June 
1791 it was stated that troops were required to maintain the 
Collector's authority ; in November of the same year Coimbatore 
and the surrounding tracts on the north were in tlie hands of the 
Mysore forces ; in February 1792 the neighbouring Palni and 
Idaiyankottai poligars were plundering in the same area ; the Raja 
of Travancore was at the same time preventing the Collector from 
taking possession of Kambam and Gudalur, though these tracts 
(which had once been palaiyams, but had been confiscated by 
Haidar Ali of Mysore in 1755) undoubtedly belonged to the 
Dindigul district ; and the Kalians had quarrelled with the Madura 
renter and were committing every kind of excess. The poligars 
naturally took advantage of this confusion to withhold payment of 
their dues, and the renters followed their example. 

In September 1793 the Board of Revenue endeavoured to 
improve the class of renters by directing the Collector to lease 
villages to their headmen instead of to strangers ; but though the 
system was introduced in part, the headmen of villages which 
were especially exposed to the attacks of the Kalians of Anaiyt^r, * 
the notorious centre of this caste in the Tirumangalam taluk, 
naturally declined to have anything to say to it. 

In May 1794 Mr. McLeod went on leave to the seaside to 
recruit his health, and was succeeded by his Head Assistant, 
Mr. John Wrangham. A Board's Proceedings of August of thig 


year comments in a caustic manner on Mr. McLeod's maladminis- CHAP. XI. 
tration, which had reduced the district to disorder and its revenues Eevem-e 


to a very low eLb. It appears that not only had the poligars, 

Kalians and renters been permitted with impunity to exhibit open 
contumacy, but misappropriations of inams and swatantrams had 
occurred, the assessments had not been collected, large remissions 
had been obtained on the plea that tanks were out of order, 
Kambam and Gudalur had not been recovered, the customs had 
been mismanaged and the Collector's accounts were worthless. 

In December of this same year Mr. Wrangham was replaced ^'J"- ^ynch 
by Mr. George Wynch, but the year and a half during which the maiadmiiiis- 
latter remained in charge witnessed even worse confusion than tration, 179-t. 
ever. He had scarcely taken charge when Captain Oliver, the 
officer commanding the district, reported that the Palni poligar 
was engaged in open hostilities with his neighbour the poligar of 
Ayakkudi, while one of Tipu Sultan's officers complained that the 
former was looting across the boundary in Coimbatoro ; several of 
the other poligars disobeyed the Collector's summons to appear 
before hira in Dindigul ; the poligar of Sandaiyur laid claim to the 
pdlaiyam of Devadanapatti, the owner of which had recently died, 
and refused to enter into any engagement for the payment of his 
arrears until his claim was allowed ; the Palni poligar objected to 
the proposal to detach and assess separately the Ayakkudi estate 
which had once been an appanage of his palaiyam, and not only 
refused to pay his peshkash but armed a thousand of his followers ; 
the Yirupakshi poligar declined to receive the Collector's sanad 
and customary presents and laid claim to the KannivWi estate ; 
the Travancore manager kept on committing every sort of excess 
in Kambam and Gudalur; in April the Collector himself and his 
escort were stopped on the boundaries of Bodinayakkanur and his 
peons were fired on ; and in May the Yadakarai poligar joined 
Bodinayakkanur, both Palni and Ayakkudi began arming, Yiru- 
pakshi opposed the Collector's progress, and Kombai set himself 
to stir up disturbances in the Kambam valley. 

In June, Government issued a proclamation to the poligars 
forbidding them to arm themselves and requiring them to obey 
the Collector. This had some temporary effect, but the country 
went rapidly from bad to worse and in June 179G Government 
appointed a Commission, consisting of Mr, William Harrington 
and Captain William McLeod, to take charge of the district and to 
investigate the causes of the disorder which existed. 

On the last day of the following August the two Commissioners Commission 
sent in a voluminous report on the matter and handed over the 1796. "^^' 






Mr. Hurdis' 

district to a new Collector, Mr. Thomas Bowyer Hurdis. They 
stated that not only was the district a prey to the political confu- 
sion jast described, but that its revenue administration was defective 
throughout. The karnams and amildars (or tahsildars) had com- 
bined to produce false revenue accounts ; the former had entered 
large areas of land as ' inams ' in the accounts, so that they might 
be able to appropriate the produce of them ; poligars who had 
been nominally dispossessed for contumacy went about none the 
less with armed bands, annoying the ryots on their old estates ; 
the land-customs were maladministered, certain individuals (for 
example) being exempted without authority from paying them ; the 
lessees of the five taluks (these had been rented out for five years 
in November 1794 ; Kambam alone was kept under amani) had 
fabricated false returns and kept the authorities in ignorance of the 
real value of these tracts ; one of them, Appaji Pillai, moreover 
caused all the ryots to leave their lands when the Commission 
came round to measure and appraise them, lest they should give 
information prejudicial to his interests ; these renters were not 
only in arrears, but so bullied their tenants and let the lands fall 
into such disrepair that numerous ryots had emigrated ; numerous 
unauthorised alienations of Government land had been made by 
subordinates ; the above Appaji Pillai and his father Kumara 
Pillai had fraudulently effected many of these and had systemati- 
cally colluded with the Collector's understrappers to undervalue 
Government land and bring about other irregularities; the pesh- 
kash collected from the poligars was from 14 to 28 per cent less 
than it ought to have been, and than it had been in the time of 
the Mysore renters Mir iSahib and Saiyad Sdhib mentioned above ; 
and so forth and so on. 

Grovernment and the Board considered the report and ordered, 
among other things, that unauthorised alienations of land made 
since the country camo into British hands should be resumed ; 
that inamdars who were not in possession at the same date should 
be dispossessed ; that Kumara Pillai and Appaji Pillai should be 
banished the district ; that triennial, instead of annual, agreements 
should be made with the poligars ; that troops should be sent to 
Dindigul ; and that the Palni poligar should forfeit his estate for his 
repeated misbehaviour. They stated that they looked to the new 
Collector, Mr. Hurdis, to bring the district back again into order. 

For several years this officer was only partially successful in 
doing so. Unlike Sir Thomas Munro in the Ceded districts, he 
had no body of troops at his command sufficient to enable him 
forcibly to compel the poligars to behave themselves. These juen 



had already become angry and disaffected ; some of them had been CHAP. Xf. 
ousted from their ancestral estates and were wild with grief and Kevenok 
indignation; the others found themselves expected to give up for istokt. 
ever the independence and power they had always enjoyed and 
to settle down to live virtuously and tamely on the produce of 
their properties in entire subjection to the orders of the new 
Grove rnment. 

In 1797 this inflammable material was ignited by a revolt in 
the Ramnad country, and the more daring and rebellious of the 
Dindigul poligars began to raise disturbances in every quarter- 
The records of this year and of 1798 are full of accounts of their 
misdeeds. The one matter for congratulation was the fact that 
they acted independently, each in what he conceived to be his own 
interests, so that Mr. Hurdis was usually able to deal with then; 
one by one. 

In May 1799 the news reached Dindigul of the British suc- 
cesses in the Third Mysore War against Tipu Sultan, of the fall 
of Seringapatam, that ruler's capital, and of his death during the 
attack. This produced the happiest results. Those of the poligars 
who were secretly disaffected were awed into obedience to the 
British, while those who were more deeply implicated lost all heart 
and relaxed their efforts to create trouble. 

By November 1799 order had been sufficiently restored to Order 

enable the Collector to begin a task which he had always set before ""^^tored and 
1 I . -, survey and 

himself, namely, the systematic survey and assessment, field by settlement 
field, of his charge. He eventually completed this undertaking \ocio^' 
and sent in a monumental report thereon (dated 6th April 1803) 
which came to be quoted as an authority for years afterwards ; and 
it is not too much to say that the prosperity of the district dates 
from the time of his administration, and that (while the settlement 
which he effected was ultimately modified in many of its details) 
the revenue system now in force is Mr. Hurdis' original system, 
developed and improved. 

About this time the policy of concluding permanent settle- 
ments of the land revenue was being strenuously advocated, and 
Mr. Hurdis was directed so to survey and report upon his charge 
that the Board of Revenue might bo able at once to effect such a 
permanent settlement of its assessments. His charge, it may be 
here noted in parenthesis, included, from the 31st July 1801 (the 
date on which the Nawab of Arcot concluded the arrangement 
already referred to on p. 71 above) the Madura country proper 
as well as the province of Dindigul ; but as the revenue history of 





Principles of 

the former is distinct from that of Dindigul, it will be separately 
dealt with later. 

Mr. Hurdis, then, proceeded to survey and assess the Dindigul 
country in much detail ; and at the end of each subsequent year 
the area completed up to then was rented out on triennial leases 
on progressive rents which were so arranged that by the end of 
the thiid of the three years they would reach the figure at which 
Mr. Hurdis considered that a permanent settlement might with 
justice be concluded. These operations were carried out not only 
in Government land but in twelve of the twenty-six estates 
included in the district and named on p. 183 above, which twelve 
had come under Gcvernment management owing to their having 
been forfeited for rebellion, escheated in default of heirs, or 
attached for arrears of revenue. The other fourteen estates were 
left in the hands of their owners and assessed at a peshkash equal 
to 70 per cent, of their value as ascertained by the survey and 
settlement of fasli 1212 (lb02-03). 

By the end of fasli 1214 (1804-05) all the Dindigul country 
had been thus surveyed and assessed, the triennial leases had all 
expired, and the permanent settlement came into full operation 
throughout it. With the exception of the fourteen palaiyams 
above mentioned and of a few hill villages which had never formed 
part of any of the poligars' estates and were likely to become 
refuo-cs for bad characters if removed from Government control, 
the whole district was cut up into 40 different zamindaris or estates. 
The annual peshkash payable on each of these was definitely fixed, 
and eight of them, which had been formed from six estates for- 
feited for arrears, were handed over to their former owners ; 31 
were sold to new purchasers ; and the remaining one, being 
unsold, remained in the Collector's hands. 

The principles upon which Mr. Hurdis effected this memorable 
survey and settlement were, very briefly, as under : — 

Excluding poramboke (that is, areas such as tank beds, the 
sites of forts and so on which could never be cultivated) the land 
of the district was primarily classed as being either {a) dry (un- 
irrigated) or (b) wet, that is, land capable of being regularly 

Dry land was again sub-divided into (i) bdghdyat, or garden, 
and (ii) ordinary dry land. On the former, the Government assess- 
ment — which seems to have been fixed after considering what 
, not only the settlement staff, but also the proprietor of the land 
and the ryots themselves had to, say on the matter — was one-third 



ot the estimated gross produce after a certain deduction had been CHAP. XI. 
made for the cost of manuring-. On the latter, the assessment was He venue 
usually two-fifths of the estimated gross produce. In neither case, istork 

apparently, was any allowance made for ordinary cultivation 

Wet land was sub-divided into (ij pdnmald, or ])etel-growing 
land, and (ii) ordinary wet land. '! lie former was assessed in 
accordance with the estimated produce, the excellence of the 
irrigation available and the cost of cultivation ; and the revenue 
varied from as little as 20 per cent, of the gross produce to as much 
as 4U per cent. The latter, ordinary wet land, was assessed 
according as it was capable of growing (a) sugar-cane, turmeric 
and similar valuable crops, (6) two crops of paddy, or (c) one crop 
of paddy. In the first of these cases duo deductions were made 
from the value of the estimated gross produce for cultivation 
expenses, and the assessment was then fixed at the value in money 
of one half of the remainder. In the other two cases a similar 
method was followed, except that for some reason no allowance 
was apparently made for cultivation expenses, while on the other 
hand a deduction from the gross .produce of 12^ per cent, for 
swatantratns was made before the hypothetical division between 
Grovernment and the ryot was made. 

In addition to the above four main kinds of dry and wet land 
there were also naiijai taram punjat and pilluvari land. The 
former of these was wet land which was so poorly supplied with 
irrigation that it would not produce wet crops, and its assessment 
was fixed at rates calculated to give the G-overnment 40 per cent. 
of the gross produce. 'J'he latter was pasturage, and was assessed 
on very easy terms. 

In addition to the land revenue, part of which was paid in kind Miscellane- 
and part in money, there were a number of other and curious taxes °^^ taxes, 
which were styled sxcarnaddya, or payable in money. Some of 
these (such as poniki'ulu, a customary rent levied on small patches 
on the hills, the tope tax, derived from sixteen sorts of trees, and 
poruppu, a small quit-rent on inams) were lield to be such as might 
be properly levied by the proprietors of tlio estates which were 
being newly formed, but others of them were reserved by Govern- 
ment for its own management and disposal. These last included 
the shop tax, on the estimated value of tlie dealings of merchants ; 
the house tax, a somewhat similar impost on petty traders and 
artificers ; tlie loom tax, assessed on the outturn of each loom ; the 
oil-mill, iron-furnace and indigo- vat taxes, which were rated on 
similar principles ; the Pallar tax, levied on men of certain castes 





The linaucial 

Mr. Parish 



in proportion to the wages they obtained at harvest-time ; the 
lioney tax, on the amount of wild, honey collected ; the Patna 
Chetti and Bogari tax, levied on two rival factions as a payment 
for protection and religious supervision ; the ghee-tax, paid for the 
monopoly of the retail sale of ghee in each village ; and, lastly, 
tlie carriage-bullock tax, which was proportioned to the profits 
derived from the hire of those animals. 

On the whole, the total increase in the assessment of the 
Dindigul country amounted to no less than 67 per cent., the 
average collections in the years preceding 1790 having been 4o,543 
star pagodas ; ^ those from 1700-91 to 1795-96 (faslis 1200 to 
1205) 59,180 pagodas; those from 1796-97 to 1801-02 (faslis 
1206 to 1211) 86,543 pagodas; and those for the twelve years of 
British possession, from 1790-91 to 1801-02 (faslis 1200 to 1211), 
72,8 il pagodas. Mr. Hurdis considered that by the end of fasli 
1214 (1804-05), when the whole of the district would have come 
under the new settlement, the revenue would be as much as 
1,13,315 star pagodas. He explained, however, that a very large 
proportion of this was due to the increase in the area in occupation 
brought about by the survey, which had disclosed an enormous 
extent of concealed cultivation. He reported that in the thirteen of 
the forty zamindaris where the new rates had already been intro- 
duced, 'the increase thus levied was cheerfully agreed to by the 
ryots .... and, as made, has hitherto been fully and 
regularly collected.' He also believed that it was possible to count 
upon a great future increase in the wealth of the country from the 
extension of cultivation. Only some thirty-four per cent, of the 
whole culturable area in the Dindigul country was actually under 
tillage, and though the waste land was unavoidably very unequally 
divided among the different zamindaris (some containing much 
and others hardly any) and though ryots and capital were both 
lacking at the moment, he anticipated that ' under a vigilant 
superintendence and firm, yet almost imperceptible, guidance of 
the labours of the inhabitants (if peace continue) the revenues 
from the increase of population, and the habits of industry which 
may be then expected to be confirmed in the ryots, will in the course 
of ten jears be nearly doubled.' 

In December 1803 Mr. Hurdis was promoted and Mr. Greorge 
Parish became Collector of Madura. He held the post until 
1812. He at first continued, generally, the policy which Mr. 
Hurdis had inaugurated but had not remained to see carried 
out in its entiretv. The orders of the Board of lievenue were 

^ A star pagoda was equivalent to lis. 3-8. 



meanwhile received on that officer's great report on his survey and 
settlement. While the Board approved +he figure of 1,31,315 star 
pagodas which had been arrived at as the ultimate revenue on all 
the cultivated lands in the Dindigul country, they considered that 
the deduction of some ten per cent, from the gross value of the 
province which Mr. Hurdis had proposed to allow the zamindars 
as their profit should be increased to 10 per cent., and that the 
permanent revenue should be 1,09,189 star pagodas. 

But hardly had the division of the district into these forty 
estates come completely into operation than (from 1805 onwards) 
the state of the country rapidly became alarmingly serious. The 
owners of the various zamindaris fell heavily into arrears, the total 
balance at the end of fasli 12 1<) (^1806-07) against twenty-six 
estates then under attachment being ;i9,909 star pagodas ; the 
capitalists became bankrupt ; and at last in 1808 Mr. Hodgson, 
a Member of the Board of Revenue, was deputed to visit and 
inspect the country and ascertain the causes of its rapi<l decline. 

He travelled all around the district and eventually submitted 
a most elaborate report upon the case. He considered that though 
Mr. Hurdis' rates of assessment were not in themselves excessive, 
nor his calculations for commuting produce into money anything 
but fair, yet his settlement had in some respects been based on 
incorrect principles. Too much stress had been laid upon the 
possible future profits to the zamindars from the cultivation of the 
waste land included in their estates, and instead of taking (as had 
been done elsewhere) the average collections of a number of years 
as the basis upon which the revenue should be collected, all that 
had been done was to deduct 16 per cent, from the proposed total 
revenue of fasli 1214, which was a higher figure than had ever 
been actually collected while the country was under the Compan) . 
Consequently the margin of profit left to the zamindars was very 
small, and as a series of bad seasons had followed the comjiletion 
of the permanent settlement they had collapsed under tlie losses 
which these had involved. Mr. Hodgson concluded by recommend- 
ing that as the permanent settlement liad thus failed it should be 
replaced by the system of leasing out each village separately for a 
fixed term. 

The Government approved his conclusions and suggestions, and 
wrote a despatch on iho matter to the Directors which largely 
reproduced them both. From fasli 1217 (1807-08) the system of 
renting out the various villages for a term of three years was 
introduced under Mr. Parish's suj^ervision. The result was a 
slight increase in the amount of ihe revenue realised over that 




The district 



Mr. Hodg- 
son's roporfc 
npon it. 


village leases, 





Mr. Kou8 



in the 






whicli would have been received under the permanent settlement, 
bat this was counterbalanced by the higher charges of management 
and collection which the more detailed system involved. 

From 1812, the year when the triennial village leases expired, 
to 1828 (with the exception of one short interval) the Collector of 
the district was Mr. Eons Peter, a gentleman who made himself 
extremely popular among the natives of the district and is still 
(see p. 25i^>) well remembered in Madura. 

The triennial leases had been almost as serious a failure as the 
attempted permanent settlement ; and on their expiry a ryotwari 
settlement, based on Mr. Hurdis' survey, was introduced. This 
system has continued to the present day. In 1823 Mr. Rous Peter 
proposed to the Board of Revenue that the assessments of the 
Dindigul country should be revised and lowered. He considered 
that they had proved themselves to be higher than the ryots could 
afford, and that they were moreover unequal in their incidence 
owing to imperfections in the land classification effected by Mr. 
Hurdis. He was of opinion that to remedy matters a reclassifica- 
tion of the whole country was necessary. 

His suggestions were sanctioned by the authorities at Madras 
with but little discussion, and were carried out. 

They were, however, insufficient to meet the needs of the case ; 
and in October 1831 the then Collector, Mr. Viveash, submitted 
for the consideration of the Board of Revenue yet another scheme 
for the reduction of the Dindigul assessments which he appears to 
have carried out in part in anticipation of sanction. He pointed out 
that Mr. Hurdis' rates had been prescribed without ever consider- 
ing whether the result of them was to biing the revenue demanded 
from any particular tract or zamindari above the figures prevailing 
imder former governments, so that in many cases, when compared 
with such figures, they were clearly excessive. He instanced the 
case of kasba Tadikkombu, the amount collected from which had 
been 4,637 chakrams in fasli 1183 under the renter Mir Sahib 
already mentioned ; 4,508 chakrams on an average during six 
years under the renter iSaiyad Sahib ; 3,296 chakrams on an 
average in the eighteen years from fasli 1194 ; but 4,999 chakrams 
in fasli 1212 under Mr. Hurdis. 

Mr. Yiveash said he had followed the methods and rules which 
had been adopted in the Ceded districts, and had assembled before 
him the village headmen, karnams and ryots of each zamindari or 
estate, together with experienced ryots of neighbouring taluks to 



act as arbitrators, and had required tliem to revise the classification CHAP. XI. 
of all land cultivated in fasli 1236 (1826-27), a good year, with Ekvenub 

reference to such sets of accounts as were available, to the assess- 

ments of neighbouring tracts and to their own personal experience. 
He went on to say that — 

' After the rates of Mr. Kurdis had thus been revised, T considered, 
with reference to the collections of Fuslj 1236, the average collections 
of former years, and the opinions of the experienced Natamgars, 
whether any, and if any, what addition should be made to the total 
revenue of each taluq resulting from the revised rates of the ryots in 
Cutcherry, and the addition was then made to the villages, and the 
fields of each village, by the Natamgars, Kurnums, and Eyots, who, 
aware that what one gained another would lose, took special care that 
the additional revenue was fairly imposed. The accounts were then 
brought to me, the rcA'ised rates read over, the ryots were questioned 
if any of the villages or lands had been favoured, and, on their 
expressing themselves and signing a document to the contrary, they 

were dismissed The basis of the revised assessment 

is the Hoolcos assessment of Mr. Hurdis revised and corrected by 
the instrumentality of the ryots themselves; whilst loss of revenue was 
prevented by fixing the total bereez of the district with reference to 
average collections, and checks were provided against inequality in 
the assessment by leaving the ryots themselves to distribute the total 

Apparently no definite orders were ever passed on this report of 
Mr. Viveash's. 

In March 1854 Mr. Parker, the then Collector, submitted for Abolition of 
the consideration of the Board a plan for the abolition of an 
exceptional tax known as vdnpayir which was levied on the culti- 
vation of certain specially valuable kinds of produce (such as 
betel, plantains, turmeric, chillies and brinjals) when grown on 
wet land, and a similar extra assessment which was levied on 
garden dry land planted with these same crops. The rates at 
which the vdnfmjir tax was imposed varied in a complicated 
manner from taluk to taluk and with the nature of the crop. Mr. 
Parker considered that only the ordinary wet land and garden dry 
land assessments, respectively, should be charged in these two 
cases. He urged that the extra rate was objectionable on the 
ground that it violated the accepted principle that the land, and 
not the particular product raised, should be taxed, that it restricted 
the ryots' methods, that it raised the price of very necessary articles 
of food and that it occasioned vexatious inquisitions into the 
ryots' doings and complications in the accounts. The Board 
agreed with him, and shortly afterwards also sanctioned the 










discontinnance of an extra tax whicli was being- similarly levied on 
tobacco in certain parts of the district. 

In 1861 Grovernment asked the Board to report on certain 
questions which had been left undetermined for many years ; 
namely, the position of what were termed the ' unsettled pdlaiyams' 
(also spplt ' poliems ' and ' poUams ') in this and other districts, 
the expediency of granting them permanent sanads, and the 
terms on which this might be done. 

It will be remembered (see p. 183 above) that when the Din. 
digul country was first acquired by the Company it contained 26 
palaiyams or zamindari estates. By 1803, when Mr. Hurdis 
wrote his great report on the settlement of the district, twelve of 
these had come under Government management - three of them 
(Eriy6du, Palni and Virtipakshi) having been forfeited for rebellion ; 
three more ( Devadanapatti, Madlir and R ettayambadi) having 
escheated for want of heirs ; and six (Idaiyankottai, Nilakk6t- 
tai, PaUiyappanayakkanur, Sandaiytir, Sukkdmpatti and another) 
having been resumed for arrears. These twelve, together with 
the Government lands, were carved up into the forty zamindaris 
already mentioned, and were either handed over to their former 
owners or were sold to sundry purchasers under the idea that a 
permanent settlement would thus be established. Their fate has 
already been sketched above. 

The other fourteen estates were left in the hands of their 
owners and charged a peshkash assessed at 70 per cent, of their 
value as ascertained by Mr. Hurdis' survey and settlement of 
fasli 1212. Similar arrangements were made by Mr. Hurdis and 
his successor Mr. Parish with respect to the sixteen other palai- 
yams in the Madura country proper — ' the ten poliems of Madura 
and the six poliems of Manapara,' as they are called in the old 
records. In 1816, several of these thirty estates were in arrear 
with their peshkash and Government authorised the Collector in 
future to take such properties under his own management and 
allow the ejected poligars a m^likhana allowance of ten per cent, 
on the net proceeds of the palaiyams. This course continued to 
be followed until 1840. In that year Government called upon the 
owners of estates thus under attachment either to pay up the 
arrears or to agree to surrender their properties on condition of 
continuing to receive the malikh^na they were then getting ; and 
said that the palaiyams of those who would not consent to either 
alternative would be sold in satisfaction of the arrears due upon 
tnem. Several of the poligars accordingly gave up their estates 



* Ammayunayakkaudr. 









D od dappaniy ak kantir . 









and the owner of Kannivadi paid 
up the arrears due by him. 8uch 
of tlie other palaiyams as neither 
escheated on failure of heirs 
nor were resumed for arrears j 
continued to pay the peshkash 
originally fixed by Messrs. 
Hurdis and Parish, even though 
this had not been formally 
declared permanent and though 
no sanads had been granted for 
them.^ By 1865 eighteen * of 
the original thirty palaiyamSj as 
well as the mittahs of Velur and 
Eettayambadi in the Palni taluk > 
were still in existence. 
In that year (in answer to the orders of Government above 
mentioned) the Board of Eevenue reviewed in an elaborate 
proceedings ^ the history and position of these estates and recom- 
mended that permanent sanads should be granted to the owners of 
such of them as were willing to accept such grants and to execute 
the corresponding kabuliyats ; and that, for reasons stated, the 
peshkash should in no ease be enhanced. Government agreed. 
The owners of one t of the two mittahs and of fourteen + of the 

eighteen palaiyams accepted this 
invitation and applied for sanads. 
In August 1867 Grovernment 
ordered that the case of Velur 
should receive further considera- 
tion, postponed orders in the 
cases of Bodindyakkanur, Ganta- 
manayakkanur, Uttappandyakka- 
ntir, and Sirupalai (the owners 
of which were minors) and also 
of Kannivddi (which, see p. 239, 
was exceptionally situated), but 
sanctioned the issue of sanads 
in the remaining nine cases. In 

' Forty blank sanads (with their corresponding kabuliyats) wore sent to 
Mr. Parish in 1805 for distribution to ' the mittahdars in Dindigul,' but the 
estates were continually being resumed and resold and Air. Parish as a faot 
never even filled up these documents — much less issued them. Except one 
which was lost and another which had been abstracted by the record-keeper 
and made over to a pretender to the Ki'lakkottai estate, the whole of them lay in 
the Collector's records uutil 183b, when thoy were torn up. 

* Printed in G.O., No. 2730, Kevenuc, dated 10th Noyember 1865.1 

cm I'. XI. 


t 761dr. 

X Amniayanayakkanur. 

Jot ilnayakkandr. 





tion in the 

Difficulties at 
the outset. 

* Kanuiv^di. 

t P6raiy6r. 

subsequent years sanads were also granted to all tlie other estates 
except (apparently) Sirup^lai. Statistics regarding the various 
zamindaris now in existence will be found in the separate 
Appendix to this Grazetteer and some account of each of them 

is given in Chapter XV below. 
Of the eighteen estates and two 
mittahs mentioned above as 
being included in the district in 
V6idr. * 1865^ all except five* have been 

declared impartible and inalienable by the Madras Impartible 

Estates Act, 1904, and the same 
declaration has been made re- 
garding three f others which were 
transferred to the district from 
TinneveUy in 1859. 

We may now turn to the revenue history of the Madura 
country from the time when it came into British hands. 

As has already (p. 69) been seen, this practically became 
part of the territories of the British in 1 790, when the Company 
assumed its revenues from the Naw4b by proclamation and 
Mr. McLeod was appointed Collector of it. 

His responsibilities within it appear to have been limited at 
first to receiving the rent from the man, Muttu Irulappa Pillai, 
to whom it had been leased, and to watching the Company's 
pecuniary interests, but the difficulties in Madura soon became 
almost as serious as those which had been experienced at the 
outset of the administration of the Dindigul country. 

Early in 1791 the renter appears to have been guilty of 
tyrannical and extortionate conduct and to have provoked the 
Kalians to commit a series of outrages. The Collector reported 
that it was necessary to station sufficient troops at Anaiyiir (in 
Tirumangalam) and Melur (at which latter place there were 
already two companies of sepoys) to keep these people in order, 
and that the Anaiyur Kalians were in the habit of making 
predatory excursions through both the Dindigul and Madura 
provinces because there was no force there which was adequate to 
overawe them. In June 1791 the renter was deprived of his farm 
and much correspondence "followed regarding his conduct and 
pecuniary liabilities. Grovernment resolved that thenceforth the 
country should be leased out in a number of small farms and not 
again to a single individual, 

Three years later, in June 1794, Mr. McLeod seems to have 
ceased to be Collector at Madura, and to have been in charge of 



Dindigui onlj. Apparently, indeed, Madura was left for a timft 
without any Collector at all, for in October 1795 the Collector of 
Dindigui complained of tlie outrages committed by the Kalians, 
stated that the turbulent individuals all belonged to the Madura 
country, and urged that the faujdar of the Nawab of Arcot, who 
was in charge of that tract, ought to be required to keep them in 
order. He said that the road from Dindigui to Kambam was 
altogether unsafe, and that it was necessary to station troops along 
it in the Kambam valley. 

In July 1801, as has already (p. 71) been seen, the Madura 
country, which was then under the management of the amildar 
of the Nawdb of Arcot, was formally ceded by treaty by the 
Nawab to the Company ; and a proclamation was issued constitut- 
ing Mr. Hurdis, the Collector of Dindigui, as Collector of the 
whole of the Madura district. Government informed that officer 
that there was no reason to expect any opposition to the transfer, 
but that the troops quartered in the south of the Presidency w^ould 
be at his disposal if necessary ; and directed him to use his own 
discretion as to maintaining for a time or disbanding at once the 
regular troops and sihbandi, or armed police, which had been 
kept up by the Naw4b. Mr. Hurdis set a native commandant 
named Nattam Khan to watcli the Kalians, kept on the Naw^b's 
tahsildars for a time, obtained the revenue accounts from these and 
others of that potentate's officers and organized taluk establishments 
in all parts except Melur, where the Kalians were apparently 
exceptionally troublesome. 

His first jamabandi of the country was begun towards the end 
of 1801 (fasli 1211) and merely retained the customary rates of 
assessment and avoided any sweeping changes. His report on 
this, his letter of 20th July 1802 on the improved settlement he 
afterwards introduced in this same fasli, and a third report, dated 
4th May 1803, and dealing with the jamabandi of fasli 1212 
(1802-03), are the chief authorities regarding his administration of 
the country. They cannot be said to be perspicuous documents. Mr. 
Nelson spent much labour in the ' endeavour to illumine to some 
little extent their dark and apparently unfathomable depths ' and 
came to the conclusion that ' the mode in which its (the Madura 
country's) settlement was effected is to this day a mystery.' 

The reports speak of the following different kinds of lands and 
land tenure, some of which are of interest : (I) Sirkar, or ordinary 
Government, land, (2) Hafta devasidnam, (3) Sibbandi poriippu, 
(4) Jivitham, (5) Poruppu villages, (6) Church mdniyams, (7) 
Chattram, (8) ^rai-lcatlalai, (9) Arai-kat alai \i}Aa,ges^ {IQ) Ardha- 
mdniyam, (11) Palaiyam, and (12) Inani. 



cession of the 

Early settlo- 
iiients in it. 

The rarious 
land tenures. 






Hafta ^ 

The first of these, oi-dinary Government land, was divided inro 
(a^ wet, (A) dry, and (o) betel, land. 

The revenue on wet land was collected according to one of two 
methods. Under the former of these, which was called dttu-Tcdl- 
pcUhanaii) and was followed only in the case of land watered from a 
river channel, the customary swaiantratns and rassums (which Mr. 
Hardis, after much enquiry, had fixed at 12 J per cent, of the 
whole) were first deducted from the gross produce of each field 
and distributed to their owners, and then the remaining produce 
was divided in equal shares between Grovernment and the culti- 
vator. The Government share was either handed over in kind, or 
paid for in cash at a price fixed by the Collector. Under the 
latter of the two methods of collecting the revenue on wet land, 
which was called mdnacdripat and was applied only to land under 
rain-fed tanks, the gross produce was equally divided between 
Grovernment and the cultivator without any deduction for swatan- 
trams being made. 

The revenue on dry land was collected in money and was either 
assessed on the acreage cultivated (at what rates does not appear) 
or in a lump sum on each village as a whole, without reference to 
the area tilled therein. These latter villages were called katiu- 
kutiagai, or fixed rent, villages. 

Betel land was reported to have been assessed on the principles 
followed under the Nawdb's government, but what these were 
was not explained. The assessments collected in this year 1801 
on the various fields, calculated almost at haphazard though they 
were, were duly recorded and remained for years afterwards the 
revenue always demanded on those fields. 

The hafta devaddnam (seven temples) land was land granted for 
the upkeep of the worship and ceremonies at the following seven 
temples : those of Minakshi at Madura (the great temple), JCallar 
Alagarsvdmi and Kudal Alagarsvami, and those at Tirupparan- 
kunram, Tenkarai, Tiruvedagam and Kuraviturai. Who origi- 
nally made these grants is not now ascertainable. It was per- 
haps Tirumala Nayakkan. Nor is their subsequent fate clear, as 
accounts differ. Perhaps some of them were usurped during the 
troublous times immediately following the disruption of the Vijaya- 
nagar empire. When Chanda Sahib obtained possession of the 
Madura kingdom (see p 58) he is said to have seized what 
remained of them ; and his proceedings rendered it necessary for 
the managers of the Minakshi temple to close that institution and 
to hurriedly remove the idols and the entire establishment to 
Manamadura in the Sivaganga zamindari, where, it is said, they 
remained for twoiyears and three months, the expenses of maintain- 


ing the customary worship being met by the Setupati of Eamnad. CHAP. XI. 

After the capture of Chanda Sahib (see p. 69), Morari Kao, it is Kkveme 

stated, effected the return to Madura of the idols and establishment '"^"" ^ " 

and the restoration of part, if not all, of the land which Chanda 

Sahib had taken from the temple. Subsequently much of the 

property was again lost, but when Muhammad Yusuf Khan (who 

was by birth a Vellala and therefore, though by faith a Musalman, 

kindly disposed towards Hindu temples) came to Madura (see 

p. 06), he is declared to have retained possession of the whole of 

it, but to have made, in his first year, a grant of 12,000 chakrams 

for the support of the seven temples and, in the succeeding years, 

an allotment of 6,000 chakrams. When Mr. Hurdis took charge 

of the country he found that what was then called the hafta 

devastdnam land yielded the Grovernment a revenue of Rs. 50,292, 

and he proposed to the Board that it should be retained in the 

hands of Grovernment and that an annual permanent allowance 

of 12,000 chakrams should be made to the seven temples. 

The Board ordered the Collector to restore to the temples ' the 
lands resumed from the pagodas by the late government,^ but 
for some reason not now traceable Mr. Hurdis never carried out 
these instructions and (though the question of its disposal was 
raised in 1849 and again in 1859) the hafta devastdnam land 
remains in the hands of Government. It had long ceased to be a 
religious endowment, and formed part of the resources of the 
State at the time of the cession of the district. 

Sihbandi poriippu land was that in the occupation of indivi- sniandi 
duals belonging to the establishment {sib1>andi) of the great voruppu. 
Minakshi temple at Madura. It is said that Yusuf Khan imposed 
on this a poruppu, or fixed tribute, of an arbitrary nature in 
order to make up the grant of 6,000 chakrams which he accorded 
to the great temple at Madura. In Mr. Hurdis' time this 
poruppu amounted to as much as 5,506 chakrams, and it was 
excluded by him from his revenue demand. 

Jivitham land was that which had been held by military jivitham, 
peons for subsistence. Holding the opinion that the peons were 
no longer required, Mr. Hurdis resumed it all and added its 
assessment to the revenue demand. 

Poruppu villages appear to have been those which were Poruppu 
originally granted free to Brahmans but were afterwards taxed tillages, 
with a quit-rent, or poruppu, by later rulers, 

' Church mdniyams * seem to have included in a general way Chnrch 
all land which was lield by the temples, or by Brahmans or others "'""'ya*"*- 
connected therewith, and was not subject to the ordinary full 












Defects of the 

Cliattram laud was that granted for the purpose of perpetuaiij 
maintaining certain eliattrams, or rest-houses, for travellers. As 
has been mentioned on p. 157 above, the grantees had in manj 
instances altogether ignored their trusts and treated the land 
as their private property, guarding themselves by bribes to the 
authorities against interference with their dishonesty. 

Arai-kattalai land was apparently [that granted and added to 
temple property to pay for the performance of certain religious 
acts, among them the celebration of worship for the benefit of 
the soul of the departed grantor. Mr. Hurdis found that, as in 
the case of the chattram land, many of these grants had been 
improperly alienated by the dishonest servants of their nominal 
managers, and that the proceeds of them were no longer devoted 
to the purposes for which they were originally intended, 

Arai-kattalai villages were said to be those which had been 
granted rent-free to individuals in order that they might transfer 
them to the temples and thus obtain credit for a religious act. The 
transfers effected in accordance with tha grants had in most cases 
been merely nominal and colourable, and the villages remained the 
property of the grantees. The fiction of transfer had, however, 
the advantage of obtaining for the villages that protection which 
was often accorded to temple property, though in some cases this 
had had to be bought by the payment of a poruppu, or quit-rent. 
Following the rules laid down by the late Nawab, Mr. Hurdis 
recommended that these grants should be resumed unless they 
could be proved to have been made by Tirumala Ndyaktan. 

Ardha-mdniyams comprised a small extent of land which had 
been granted on payment of half [ardha) the usual assessment. 

Of the two remaining sorts of land, pdlaiyams were the 
poligars' estates, ana inams were fields or villages granted on the 
usual favourable terms for the usual multiplicity of reasons. 

Mr. Hurdis set himself to survey and settle the Madura side 
of the district just as he had done the Dindigul portion, but the 
work was far less carefully done in the former, than in the latter, 
area. Madura w^as never surveyed, like Dindigul, by skilled men. 
The area under cultivation in 1802, 'and that [alone, was ^ hastily 
and incompletely surveyed by the kamams and other village 
officers in that year. The work was never finished, and that part 
of it which was done was never revised until the existing survey 
was carried out. 

The settlement which followed was also defective. No pro- 
vision seems to have been made, as'] in Dindigul, for the case ol 
double-crop wet land, and therefore fields sufficiently well watered 


to raise two crops paid only single assessment if only one crop CHAP. XI. 
was raised. Again, neither wet nor dry land was ever classed as Revkm-e 
garden and assessed according to the class of crop grown on it, as '^^tobt. 
had been done in Dindigul. This was no douLt a very lihcral and 
proper arrangement, Lut it was clearly due to the happy accident 
of Mr. Ilnrdii' forgetfalness rather than to economic sagacity 
and forethought on the part of him and his successors. 

As in Dindigul, the Government revenues in Madura included 
a number of money taxes, known generically as swarnaddya, and 
the land customs. 

Mr. Ilurdis, as has already been seen, left the district in 1803 
and was succeeded by Mr. Parish. As in Dindigul, so in the 
Madura country, the latter adhered generally to the system which 
he found in operation. His report on the jamabandi of fasli 1213 
(1800-04) showed that since the preceding year there had been a 
healthy extension of cultivation to the extent of 8 per cent., and 
that there was every prospect that this would further develop. 

Jn 1804-05, it appears, a settlement 'formed upon the money Tiiennial 
assessments introduced by Mr. Hurdis ' was made with each ryot |,he^ryou^ari 
separately. In 1805-06, apparently, the villages were leased out, system. 
as in Dindigul, either singly or in groups, to renters. In fasli 
1218 (1808-('9) these leases were made triennial. They were not 
a success, and when they expired (in fasli 1220) the system of 
settling with each ryot separately was reverted to. This was 
temporarily continued for a year or two more, and was formally 
adopted, as in Dindigul, in 1814-15. 

Between that year and 1821-22 Mr. Eons Peter on several Eednctions in 
occasions granted unauthorised reductions in the assessments of aseessmenta. 
some 52 villages situated in the then taluks of Mddakkulam. 
Solavanddn, Melur and Tirumangalam. These were carried out 
on no fixed prinoi])les and without any regard for the characteristics 
of each village. Mr. Peter was repeatedly called upon by the 
Board to explain on what grounds he had granted them, but 
neither he nor his successor Mr. Viveash ever replied. Eventually, 
however, in 1848 the Board ordered them to be cancelled. 

The existing survey of the whole district was begun in 1872. rpj,j. existing 
Between then and 1875 it was carried on in a desultory manner SaRVEv and 
by detachments from a survey party mainly employed in other "^ lyjjs-yii." * 
districts, while between 1870 and 1878 work was seriously delayed 
by the great famine. From 1879, however, a full party was 
employed and the operations were completed in 1884. Tlie 
whole of the six taluks were entirely re-surveyed, but the work 
was done in detail in Government land only, and not in the 
zamindaris or whole inam villages, 





The existing 

schvey and 




The Settlement department began operations in the district in 
1881, and in 1884 submitted a settlement scheme. This was 
sanctioned hy Government in 1885 and its introduction was 
begun in 1885 86 and completed in March 1889. It did not 
extend to the whole inam villages or the zamindaris. 

It proceeded on the usual principles and was based on 
elaborate enquiries undertaken in the five taluks other than 
Tirumangalam. The soils were classified, and were grouped 
under the two main headings of regada, or black cotton-soil, and 
red ferruginous. The extent to which each of these occurs in 
each of the talukslhas already been shown on p. 12 above. There 
are none of the arenaceous, or sandy, soils found in some districts. 
These main varieties were then again sub-divided according 
to their fertility into ' classes ' and ' sorts.' 

For the purposes of wet assessment, the irrigation sources of 
the district were divided into four classes. These were (to give 
them in the order of their superiority) first, permanent anicuts or 
head sluices on the main rivers and tanks directly fed by channels 
led therefrom ; second, channels led direct from the main rivers 
without permanent anicuts or head sluices, permanent anicuts on 
the minor rivers, tanks fed directly from the above, and spring 
channels and rain-fed tanks of six months' capacity and upwards ; 
third, channels from minor rivers without permanent anicuts and 
tanks fed by them, and spring channels and rain-fed tanks of from 
three to six months' capacity ; and, fourth, other rain-fed tanks 
and hill and jungle streams. Notice was given that on the com- 
pletion of the Periyar Project (pp. 126-130) all irrigation affected 
thereby would be included in the first group. 

In some districts villages are classified, for the purposes of dry 
assessment, into groups in accordance with their facilities for 
getting their produce to favourable markets, but in Madura no 
distinction of this kind was drawn. 

The money assessments were calculated on the estimated value 
of the calculated outturn of standard grains on wet and on dry 
land. For wet land, paddy was taken as the standard grain ; the 
outturn was calculated to vary from 1,000 to 400 Madras measures 
per acre ; and the ' commutation price/ fixed for commuting the 
money value of the estimated outturn on different classes of soil, 
was taken at Es. 123-8-0 per Madras garce of 3,200 Madras mea- 
sures — this being the lowest figure touched during the preceding 
twenty non-famine years and some lis. 30 less than the average 
price for those years (Rs. 17r35), even when reduced by ten 
per cent, to allow for the difference between the figure obtainable 


by tlie ryot and that commanded by the merchant. For dry land, CHAP. Xf. 
cholam and cambu, each in the proportion of a half, were taken as The existing 

• S L' R V E Y AND 

the standard grains ; the outturn of the two together was esti- settlement, 
mated to vary from 275 to 100 Madras measures per acre ; and the 18S5-fe9. 
commutation price of the two was taken at Rs. 108-8-0 per Madras 
garce — the lowest figure reached ia the preceding twenty non- 
famine years, and a value much less than the average for such years 
(Rs. lG0"7o), even when a deduction often percent, for merchants' 
profits had been made tlierefrom. 

From these commutation prices the gross value of the outturn 
on an acre of each of the different varieties of soil was calculated ; 
from this a deduction of one-fifth was made to compensate for 
vicissitudes of season and the inclusion within the survey fields 
of unprofitable patches, such as paths, banks and channels ; and 
a further deduction, based on experiment and enquiry, for cultiva- 
tion expenses. 'J he remainder was assumed to be the net yield 
per acre ; and one half of this, rounded to the next lowest of 
the standard rates of assessment, was taken to be the value of 
the Government share of the crop aud the money assessment per 

The rates per acre so arrived at for wet and dry land respectively Rates 

are given in the margin. The per- prescribed. 
*^'' '^' centage of each class of land ^vhich i^ 

assessed in each taluk at each of these 
rates is given on pp. 122 and 116, and 
in the separate Appendix to this volume 
will be found figures showing by taluks 
the actual area under each money rate 
and the classes and sorts of soils included 
under each. Less than one per cent, of 
the total wet area of the district is charged the highest rate, and only 
2 per cent, of it the next highest, while 59 per cent, is assessed at 
either Rs. 4-8-0 or Rs. 3-8-0. Of the total dry area, less than thirty 
acres is similarly charged the highest dry rate, and only 5 per cent, 
the next highest, while 64 per cent, is assessed at either Re. 1-4-0 
or Re. 1 . It had long been recognised that the old wet assessments 
were too low and the dry rates too high. This was sufticicntly 
evident from the figures of occupation, which showed that while 
only seven per cent, of the assessed wet land was unoccupied, the 
unoccupied portion of the assessed dry land was as high as 37 per 
cent. The Director of Revenue Settlement found that some of the 
most fertile wet land in the whole of the Peri) akulam taluk (then the 
best irrigated in the district) was assessed at only some Es. 2 per 





































CHAP. XI. acre. The dry land was accordingly treated with especial leniency, 
The K.VI8TING but the wet rates were frequently enhanced. There remained, at 
the time of the settlement, 253,794 acres of dry land assessed at 
Rs. 2,1 7,519 and 10,000 acres of wet land assessed at Its. 31,770 
which was still unoccupied. Most of the latter was in Madura 
and Melur taluks. 

The figures Lelow give nt a glance the general eifect of the 
survey and settlement on wot and dry land respectively ; namely, 
tlie increase in the cultivated area in each taluk disclosed by tlio 
survey, and the onhaucement or redaction of the assessment brought 
about by the settlement. It should however be noted that the 
figures for Palni, Dindigul and Periyakulam compare the old wet 
assessment, which was a consolidated rate on the two crops, with 
the settlement assessment on a single crop. If the compulsorily 
registered aid compounded second-crop charges and the additional 
assessment levied whore second crops were growi' are taken into 
account, the increase will be larger : — 


Wet laud. 

Dry land. 

Peroentagf difference 

Percentage difference 






Madura ... 





District Total ... 

+ 10 
+ 9 
+ 15 
+ 5 
+ 3 
+ 8 

+ 12 

+ 10 
+ 11 
- 7 
+ 4 
+ 10 

4- 9 
+ 7 
+ 12 
+ 7 
+ 8 
+ 3 

- 6 

- 18 

- 20 

- li 

- 5 

- 7 

- 9-5 

+ 9-3 

+ 7-7 

+ 7-5 

It will be seen that though the survey showed that the irrigated 
area in occupation was 9"3 per cent, more than was entered in the 
accounts, the settlement only increased the assessment on it by 7' 7 
per cent. ; and whereas the survey showed the similar excess in the 
dry land in occupation to be 7*5 per cent., the settlement brought 
about a decrease of no less than 9'5 per cent, in the amount 
charged on this. Taking both wet and dry land together, the 
survey disclosed an increase of 8 per cent, in the occupied area, 
while the settlement resulted in a net decrease of 2 ^ per cent, in the 
assessment, or, including the charge for second crop, an increase 
of "45 per cent. The settlement cannot therefore be said to Have 
"(ieftlt harshly with the Madura ryot, 


The pill avari tax already referred to, wliicli was a light assess- CHAP. XI. 
ment collected in tlie Paliii and Dindigul taluks on land used for Tife rxishnq 
pasturage, was discontinued after the settlement.^ buRVKv a.n-o 

The settlement of the villages on tlie Palni hills, which were 18S5-89. 
sixteen in number (six on the Upper Palnis, and ten on the Lower), St-ttiement of 
covering an area of 410 square miles and containing 18,000 souls, l"'l villages. 
was separately undertaken in the latter half of 189-3. Tliese 
villages, as has already (p. 188) been stated, were not included in 
Mr. Hurdis' original settlement. Besides the ponikddu already 
referred to, which was a customary rent on patches in the hills whicli 
were cultivated with hoes, a tax of from Rs. 3 to Rs. 9 was at one 
time charged on each plough kept tliere and another of from As. 8 
to Rs. 8 on every hatchet. 'Paxes on wild honey, dammar, ginger 
and other jungle products collected were also levied. In Mr. Ilurdis' 
time and for many years afterwards, the Iiill villages were farmed 
to renters who lived on the jUains and only occasionally visited 
their farms, 'I'he villagers repeatedly re})resented the intolerable 
exactions of these men (and of the mannddh-, or headmen of hill 
villages, who afterwards were made the renters in some cases) and 
at length, in 1837, karnams were appointed in each village to 
enquire into the modes of taxation in vogue and the methods of 
the renters. In 1842, on the representations of Mr. Blackburne, 
the then Collector, the farming out was formally abandoned in 
favour of the ryotwari system, and the land vvas taxed, as else- 
where, according as it was dry or wet.= At the time of the 
settlement, of the total occupied area, 4 per cent, was dry and 15 
per cent, wet in the Upper Palni villages, and 78 per cent, dry and 
8 per cent, wet in those in the Lower Palnis. The old rates of 
assessment had varied from Rs. 3-9-9 (for plantains) to Re. 0-5-9 
on dry land, and from Rs. 3-9-9 (again for plantains) to Re. 
1-4-8 on wet. The new rates ranged respectively from Rs. 2 to 
As. 4 and from Rs. 5-8-0 to Rs. 2. The survey disclosed an 
increase in the dry land of 38 per cent, and the settlement imposed an 
enhancement of 25 per cent, in the assessment. In the case of 
wet land the corresponding figures were 25 and 148. The old wet 
rates were admitted on all hands to have been much too low. In 
calculating the assessments the same standard grains and the 
same commutation prices were taken as on tlie plains. All tlie 
irrigation sources were placed in the fourth class, as they had all 
been made by the ryots themselves. 

' A liistory of tbi3 impost will be found in the papers read in 13. P. Xo. 13G2, 
Revenue, dated l(5th .June 18S6. 

* For further particulars, see tlie iuleresting report of Mr. Clarke, tlio Sub- 
Collector, dated 10th May 1853. 

203 MADUEA. 

CHAP. XT. j'J'G inanis of Madura are not of particular interest. As Kas 

iNAMs. already Leen seen, the poligars and karnams more than once 

endeavoured, when the district was first taken over by the British, 

to get the best fields into their possession by showing them in the 

accounts as inams. On receipt of the report of the Dindigul 

Commission of 179G, Government passed the very liberal order 

that every inamdar who was in actual legal possession at the time 

when the British arrived should be confirmed, and that any of 

them who were denied confirmation under this rule should be 

given a money allowance for life. Mr. Hurdis made enquiries into 

most of the inams and compiled a list of them. Those which he 

proposed to confirm amounted in extent to rather more than three 

per cent, of the whole cultivable area of the Government lands and 

were mostly granted for religious purposes. He proposed to 

resume ' those given by the heads of villages, or by amildars 

and renters to dancing -girls, poets, musicians, heroes and others 

contributing to the pleasure of their immediate employers.' 

The inam settlement was based on his accounts offaslil21l 

and on two other sets of faslis 1217 and 1222, and proceeded on 

the usual lines. Details of the grants then in existence will be 

found in the Inam Commissioner's letter read in G.O., No. 545, 

Revenue, dated 19th March 1863. 

p]xi8TixG In 1^60, in consequence of Mr. Felly's scheme for the reorga- 

Divisional nization of the village establishments, the taluks of the district 
Charges. , , , -, 

were re-named and re-arranged as under : — 

Former taluks. ^ew taluks. 

Tadikkombu. \ -^. ^. . 

Nilakk6ttai. 1 Dindigul. 

Madakkulam. Madura. 

Melur. M^liir. 

Aiyamj)alle. Palni. 

Tenkarai. Periyakulam. 

Tirumangalam. Tirumangalam, 

On the 17th October 1861 a sub-magistrate was first appointed 
at Kodaikanal, but revenue jurisdiction over the Palni Hills 
remained unchanged, and they continued to be included partly in 
Periyakulam, and partly in Palni, taluk. 

In 1881) the existing Kodaikanal taluk was formed and a 
deputy tahsildar was appointed to the charge of it. Besides this 
officer and the tahsildars of the other seven taluks, there are 
deputy tahsildars at Vedasandur in Dindigul taluk, at Uttamapa- 
laiyam in Periyakulam, at Usilampatti in Tirumangalam and two 
(one sanctioned temporarily in 1904 for two years) in Madura 


The existing divisional cliarges are as under: Dindigul, CHAP. XI. 
Kodaikanal, Palni and Periyakulam taluks are under the care of i^xisting 
the Divisional Officer of Dindigul ; Madura and Melur are under the ^',^1^^'°^'^^ 

Madura (or Head-quarter) Deputj Collector, who also does the - '. 

magisterial work arising in Madura town ; and Nilakkottai and 
Tiruraangalam are in charge of tlie Tirumangalara division Deputy 

In 1903 an additional Sub-Collector and Joint Magistrate was 
appointed temporarily to assist the Collector and District Magis- 
trate, who was greatly overworked, and his appointment still 

A special Deputy Collector is engaged in tlie introduction of 
the Proprietary Estates Village Service Act in the whole inam and 
zamin villages in the district, and another in attending to various 
matters connected with the introduction of the Periyar water, such 
as the sale of land commanded by the Project, the levy of water- 
rate on inam and zamin land, the acquisition of land for the series 
of cross-roads which are being made in the Periyar area and 
so forth. 





Lid of CoUtciors. 

Date of taking 


6 Sept. 
13 May 
27 Dec. 



22 June 17?U. 


Ife March 
IS Jim. 
17 May 
9 A.ig. 
10 Sept. 
15 Jan. 
15 Feb. 
20 Doc. 

23 Jan. 
30 April 
17 Feb. 

13 March 

14 Oct. 
8 Nov. 

20 Dec. 
19 April 

4 May 
27 June 
27 July 

1 April 
13 July 

7 July 

7 Aug. 

24 Aui<. 
23 Oct. 

1 A pril 

8 Oct. 
ir, Oct. 
22 Oct. 

21 Oct. 
11 Nov. 

9 Jlarch 

7 April 

8 Nov. 
19 Nov. 
17 March 

A pril 
13 Mny 
13 Aug. 

7 Jan. 

8 April 

2 July 

] 830. 
1 830. 
1 856. 
] 858 

1 860. 

186 1. 
1 864. 

Mr. Alexander McLeod, Principal Collector. 
Mr. John Wrangham, Acting Collector. 
Mr. George Wynch, Principil Collector. 

f ^n""- .^•^"w'?tv^^'''i^T°"'^ 1 Acting Collectors. 
\ Captain William McLeod, J " 

Mr. Thomas Bowyer Burdis, Principal Collector. 

Mr. George Parish, Piincipal Collector. 

Mr. Rous Peter, Principal Collector. 

Mr. George Cherr3^ Acting Collect -'r. 

Mr. Rons Peter, Principal Collector. 

Mr. Jonathan Gleig (Sub-Collector in chai-ge). 

Mr. Henry Viveash, Principal Collector. 

Mr. Henry Morris (Sub-Collector in charge). 

Mr. Henry Viveash, Principal Collector. 

Mr. .John Chardin Wroughton (Sab-CoUe-'-tor in charge). 

Mr. Henry Viveash, Principal Collector. 

Mr. John Chardin Wroughton, Acting Collector. 

Mr. John Blackburne, Acting Collector. 

Mr. John Blackburne, Priocipal Collector. 

Mr. Robert Davidson (Sub-Collector in charge). 

Mr. John Blackburne, Principal Collector. 

Mr. George Dominico Drury (Commissioner in charge). 

Mr. William Elliott (Sab-Collector in charge). 

Mr. William A. Mcn-ehead, Acting Collector. 

Mr. William Elliott (Sub-Collector in charge). 

Mr. John Blackburne, Principal Collector. 

Mr. Robert Deane Parker, Acting Collector. 

Mr. Robert Deane Parker, Collector. 

Mr. Thomas Clarke (Sub-Collector in charge). 

Mr. Robert Deane Parker, Collector. 

Mr. Thomas Clarke (Sub-Collector in charge). 

Jtr. Robert Deane Parker, Collector. 

Mr. Thomas Clarkf, Acting Collector. 

Mr. Robert Peane Parker. Collector. 

Mr. John Rennie Cockerell (Sub-Collector in charge). 

Mr. Richard .lames Sullivan, Acting Collector. 

Mr. John Rennie Cockerell (Sub-Collector in charge). 

Mr. Arthur Hathaway, Actinr Collector. 

Mr. Robert D<'ane Parker, Collector. 

Mr. Arthur Hathaway, Acting Collector. 

Mr. Artliur Pemberton Hodgson (Sub-Collector in charge). 

Mr. Thomas Clarke, Collector. 

Mr. Charles Herbert Ames (Sub-Collector in charge'. 

Mr. Vere Henry jjcvinge. Collector. 

Mr. jEneas Ranold McDonell, Acting Collector 

Mr. "Vere Henry Jjevinpce, Collector. 

The Honourable David Arbnthnott, Acting Collector. 

The Honourable David Arbuthnott, Collector. 

Mr. John Robert Arbuthnott, Acting Collector. 

The Honourable David Arbuthnott, Collector. 

Mr. John Robert Arbuthnott, Aetinp; Collector. 

Mr. Henry William Bliss, Acting Collector. 

The Honourable David Arbuthnott, Collector. 



List of Collectors — cont, 

Date of taking: 



12 May 


Mr. William ^rcQuhao, Actmg: Collector. 


G M^y 


'Slv. William I\[cQuhae, Colcctor. 

2 Sept. 


Mr. Henry William Dliss, Actin<,' Collector. 

16 Nov. 


Mr. William McQuhae, Collector. 

5 Sept. 


Mr. Ileni-y William IJIiss, Acting Collector. 

5 Oct. 


Mr. Willi'im McQahae, Collector. 

16 Sept. 


Mr. Henry William Bliss, Acting Collector. 

3 Sept. 


Mr. Jeremiah Garnet Ilorsi'all, Acting Collector. 

11 Dec. 


Mr. William McQuhao, Collector. 

24, Nov. 


Mr. Ileary John Stokes, Acting Collector. 

30 St'pt. 


Mr. Charles William Wall Moitiii, Acting Collector, 

16 April 


Mr. Uenry John Stol<es, Acting Collector. 

18 June 


Mr. Charles Kough (Acting Sub-Collector in cliarge). 

24 June 


Mr. Henry John Stokes, Collector. 

13 March 


Mr. Charles Kough, Acting Collector. 

13 Juno 


Mr. Henry John Stokes, Collector. 

26 March 


Mr. Charles Stewart Crole, Acting Collector. 

21 Nov. 


Mr. Charles Stewart Crole, Collector. 

11 Jan. 


Mr. Charles Kough, Acting Collector. 

5 YeK 


:\rr. Charles Stewart Crole, Collector. 

4 Jan. 


Mr- Edward Turner, Collector* 

23 July 


Mr. William Henry Welsh, Acting Collector. 

23 Oct. 


Mr. Edward Turner, Collector. 

15 I\rarch 


Mr. Kaaachaudra Rao, Acting Collector. 

4 April 


Mr. Sydenham Henry Wynne, Acting Collector. 

5 March 


Mr. Charles James Weir, Acting Collector. 

28 March 


Mr. Edward Turner, Collector. 

28 .April 


Mr. Leslie Creery Miller, Acting Collector. 

1 Feb. 


Mr. JohnTwigy, Collector. 

3 Jan. 


Mr. John George Denman Partridge, Acting Collector. 

2 Nov. 


Mr. Charles James Weir, Acting Collector. 

30 Jan. 


Mr. John Ccorge Deninan PRrtiidge, Acting Collector. 

14 Awj^. 


.Mr. Llewellyn Eddison Buckley, Acting Collector. 

15 Nov. 


Mr. John George Denman Partridge, Acting Collector. 

16 Julv 

1 900. 

Mr. John Arthur Cumminir, Acting Collector. 

3 Oct. 


Mr. Alexander Gordon Cardew, Collector. 

3 Feb. 


Mr. Charles George Tofihunter, Acting Collector. 

3 Dec. 


Mr. iNLathew Young, Acting Collector. 

25 Doc. 


Mr. Arthur Rowland Knapji, A.eting Collector. 

30 Oct. 


Mr. James Perch Bedford, Acting Collector. 

11 Nov. 


Mr. Edward Libouchere Thornton, Acting Collector. 









SaI-T— Earth-salt— Saltpetre. Abkari and Opium— Arrack— Foreijjn liquor — 
Toddy— Opinm and hemp-dru^s. Income-tax. Stamps. 

The salt consumed in Madura comes chiefly from tlie factories 
in the Tinnevelly district. The lighter Bombay product has 
not so far entered into competition with this. The fact that the 
frontiers of Pudukkottai and Travancore States both march in 
places with those of Madura occasions no difficulty in the main- 
tenance of the Government monopoly, for the Durbar of the 
former State consented in 1887 to entirely prohibit the manufac- 
ture of salt and salt-earth within its limits on condition of 
receiving from the British Government an annual compensation of 
Rs. 38,000 ; while that of the latter agreed, by a Convention of 
1865, to adopt within the State the British Indian selling price. 
In the one case, therefore, there is no salt to smuggle across the 
frontier into Madura, and in the other there is no inducement to 
smuggle it. 

Earth-salt has never been largely manufactured illicitly in any 
part of Madura except INIelur taluk, where alone salt-earth occurs 
with any frequency. In this area, liowever, the temptation to 
make it is considerable, as there are many places on the numerous 
rocky hills which serve as admirable evaporating-pans and tha 
local salt-eartli makes very pure and white salt. Formerly the 
Kalians and Valaiyans of this part regularly made this ilKcit 
product, and murderous affrays occurred in consequence between 
them and the Police ; and only a few years ago some 70 cases of 
illicit manufacture were detected in and about the one village of 
K araiyapatti, about eight miles north-west of Melur. 

The process of manufacture was tlie same as elsewhere, the 
salt-earth being placed in a chatti in the bottom of which was a 
small hole plugged with a bit of rag. Water was then stirred 
with it, and the brine so formed filtered through the hole into a 
smaller pot placed beneath, and was eventually evaporated in the 
sun in shallow pans made on the rocks. 

Saltpetre is only refined at one place in the district (a factory 
owned by a Sh^nan at Kusavapalaiyam, a hamlet of Anuppanadi, 


just south of Madura town) and operations tlierc are on a small CH iP. XII. 
scale, less than 500 maunds being made in the latest year for Salt. 
which figures are available. 

Hound about Palni and Ayakkudi a good deal of crude salt- 
petre is made by the ordinary process of lixiviating the alkaline 
efflorescence of the soil, and this is sent to be refined at Dhara- 
puram in the Coimbatore district, whence a good deal of it is 
ultimately exported to the Nilgiris to be used as a manure on the 
coffee-estates there. 

The abkdri revenue of the district consists of that derived from AbkXri and 
arrack, foreign liquor, toddy and hemp-drugs. Statistics regarding '^^^^' ^- 
each of these items, and also concerning opium, will be found in the 
separate Appendix to this Gazetteer. 

The arrack revenue is managed under what is known as the Arrack, 
contract distillery supply system, under which the exclusive 
privilege of manufacture and supply of country spirits throughout 
the district is disposed of by tender, and the right to open retail 
shops is sold annually by auction. The successful tenderer at 
present is M.H.Ey. T. Ratnasvami Nadar, who makes the arrack 
from palmyra jaggery at his distillery at Tachanallur iu Tinnevelly 
and supplies the district from a warehouse in Madura town. 

No difficulties occur with Pudukkottai State. The arrack 
made in the distillery there is about the same strength as the 
Tachanallur brand, and the duty levied is nearly as high as in 
British territory ; so prices on both sides of the frontier are fairly 
equal. The case of Travancore is less simple, but the existing 
rate of duty on this side of the boundary is not high enough to 
encourage smuggling. 

The supply of foreign liquor is controlled in the usual manner, Poroio-n 
licenses to vend wholesale or retail being issued on payment of the li(|iior. 
prescribed fees. This liquor all comes from Madras. It appears 
to be growing in popularity with the richer of those classes which 
are not prohibited by caste custom from touching strong waters, 
and to be in some degree ousting the cheaper but harsher country 

Since October 181)5 the toddy revenue has been managed on Toddy, ") 
the tree-tax system, under which a tax is levied on every tree 
tapped and the right to open retail shops is sold annually by 
auction. The toddy is obtained chielly from cocoanut, but to 
some extent from palmyra, palms. The number of the former 
tapped is eight or ton times as many as that of the latter. Date 
trees are never utilised, nor, except here and there in the Lower 
Palnis, are sago palms. Cocoanut and palmyra toddy are never 

212 MADURA. 

CHAP. XII. blended in the sliops, but are sold separately, some consumers 
AbkXri and preferring one, and some the otlier. The best cocoanut palms are 
Opiuji. tliose in tlie neig-libourhood of Madura town, and along the 
banks of the Yaigai, and toddy is sent from these, in casks by rail 
and road, as far asMelurinthe north-east, Ramnad in the south- 
east and Virudupatti in the south-west. 

The toddy-drawers are all Shanans by caste, and their methods 
do not differ from the ordinary. They employ Pallans, I'araiyans 
and other low castes to help them transport the li(]uor, but 
Musalmans and Brahmans have in several cases sufficiently set 
aside the scruples enjoined by their respective faiths against 
dealings in potent liquors to own retail shopo and (in the case 
of some ivlusalmans, at least) to servo their customers witli tlieir 
own hands. 

Toddy shops sometimes proclaim their presence by a sign 
consisting of the small earthen pot which is specially used for 
toddy inverted on a long stick, v.'hile arrack shops similarly 
disi^lay a glass bottle. 

No smuggling appears to take place from Pudukkottai or 
Travancore States. The former has adopted tlie tree-tax system 
and the selling price of toddy differs but little on the two sides 
of the frontier. The boundary of tho latter, where it adjoins 
Madura, consists of a high range of hills on which toddy- 
proclucing- trees do not grow and across which it would be a 
difficult matter to smuggle a drink which keeps good for so short 
a time. 

The consumption of toddy is usually heaviest at the periods of 
the year when paddy seedlings are transplanted into the fields 
and when the paddy harvest is reaped. The cooly classes, the 
chief consumers of this drink, have money in their pockets at 
those seasons and moreover are so continuously at work that they 
require a pick-me-up in the evening. Judged from the official 
statistics of the incidence of the revenue therefrom per head of 
the population, the consumption of toddy in Madura is compara- 
tively small, and the similar incidence of the revenue from toddy 
and arrack together is lower in this district than in any other in 
the £outh except Tinnevelly. 

A little sweet toddy and some palmy i a jaggery is made at 
Paganattam and Nallur in tlie Dindigul taluk and at Saadaiyur 
in Tiramangalam, where palmyra trees are plentiful, but practi- 
cally nowhere else. 
Opium and The sale of opium, ganja and poj)py heads is controlled on 

einp-arugi-, ^^^ usual system. 


Opium is supplied from tlie Madras storehouse, bliang from CHAP. XII. 
the storehouse at Daggupad in the Guntiir district and ganja AuKifKi and 

from this latter and that at Kaniyambadi in Nortli Arcot, where ' 

the crop from the Javadi hills is kept. Tlie consumption of ganja 
in the district is considerable, owing cluefl}' to the number of 
north-countrj boirdgU (who arc greatly addicted to it) who pass 
through on their way to tlie sacred shrines at Madura, Palni and 
Eamesvaram. Neither Pudukkottai nor Travancore produce 
either opium or hemp-drugs, and they arc supplied with both 
from the British storehouses. Consequently no difficulties about 
smuggling arise. 

Income-tax is levied and collected in the usual manner ; Income-tax. 
statistics will be found in tlio separate Appendix to this volume. 
Including tlie zamindaris of Eamnad and Sivaganga (separate 
figures are not available for the other taluks by themselves) the 
incidence of the tax per head of the population and per liead of the 
tax-payers both in the triennium ending with 1901-02 and in that 
ending with 1904-05 was higher in Madura than in any other 
district in tiie Presidency but the Nilgiris and the Presidency town, 
tlie circumstances of both of which are exceptional. This, however, 
is largely due to the presence^ in the Tiruppattur and Tiruvadanai 
divisions of Sivaganga, of large numbers of the wealthy Ndttukottai 
Chettis. A special Deputy Collector has recently been appointed 
to relieve the deputy tahsildars and the Divisional Officer of the 
licavy work connected with the assessment to the tax of tliesc 
pjeople, whose accounts and methods of business are complicated 
and who trade all over India, Burma, Ceylon and the Straits Scttle- 
^nents. The collection of the tax under Part II of the Act (profits 
of Companies) is increased by the existence in the district of a 
large number of ' Elanidhis,' or auction chit associations. 

Botli judicial and non- judicial stamps are sold on the system Stamps. 
usual elsewhere : statistics of the receipts will be found in the 
separate Appendix. The amount of the revenue from stamps in 
a district has with justice been held to be an index to its prosperity, 
and judged by this criterion Madura is a wealthy tract ; for (includ- 
ing again the Ramnad and Sivaganga zauiindaris) the receipts 
within it from the sale of judicial stamps in tlie latest year for 
which figures are available were higher than in any other district 
in the Presidency except Tanjore and Malabar, and those from 
non-judicial stamps were in excess of tlie figures of any district 
excepting Malabar. 

214 MADUEA. 


FoRMKR Courts. Civil Justice — Existing courts —Amount of litigatiou — 
Registration. Criminal Justice — The various tribunals— Ciime — Criminal 
castes. Police — Previous systems — The existing force. Jails. Appendix, 
List of Judges. 

CHAP. XIII. In tlie days before the Company acquired tlie district, there were 

Former no reerular courts, either civil or criminaL In the time of the 
' ' Nayakkans the poligars to wliom (see below) the responsibility for 

the suppression of crime within their estates had been delegated 
administered criminal justice in a rough and ready way and also 
constituted the only civil tribunal available in rural parts. Suits 
were also settled by arbitration, by the intervention of the friends 
of both parties, by ordeals by fire, oil and water, or by one of the 
sides swearing to the truth of his case before the god of some 
temple. The Nayakkans appear, from native MSS., to have them- 
selves held a kind of court at their capital in which quarrels were 
settled, with the aid of learned Brdhman assessors, as far as 
possible in accordance with the known customs of the caste or castes 
concerned. Thus it is recorded that the king decided a dispute 
between the Sedan weavers and another caste as to which of them 
was entitled to precedence in receiving betel on public occasions, 
and settled a quarrel between the Saivites and the Yaishnavites 
regarding the placing of a certain image in the Piidu mantapam 
at Madura. 
Civil Under the Muhammadan governors who followed the Ndyakkans, 

Justice. matters were apparently managed on an even more casual system. 
For some time, too, after the British acquired the country there 
were no regular courts. Rebels and freebooters seem to have been 
dealt with by martial law, and other criminals were punished by the 
Collector, who also settled such civil cases as were brought before 
him. By the Regulations of 1802 which introduced Lord 
Cornwallis' judicial system into Madras, the first Zilla Court was 
established at Ramnad and the Collector's judicial powers were 
abolished. In the Appendix to this chapter w^ill be found a list 
of the Judges w^ho thenceforward administered justice in the 
district. Appeals from the Zilla Court lay to the Provincial Court 
at Trichinopoly. The former was soon moved from Ramnad to 
Madura. Subsequent changes in the judicial system were the 
Sftine in principle ae el&ewherC; and it is not necessary to trace 


tliem in detail. In 1816 district munsifs were established in a CIIAP. XIIT. 
few places under Regulation VI of that year. Act VII of 1843 Civir. 
effected important alterations in the sj^'stem, the Provincial Courts usnr. . 
of Appeal beino- abolished and new Zilla Courts established with 
far wider powers than tlieir predecessors. The existino- District 
and Sessions Court was established by the Act of 1873. 

Besides this last tribunal there are in the district two Sub-Courts, Existing/ 
those of Madura (East) and Madura (West), the usual district and courts, 
village munsifs J and revenue courts for the trial of suits under the 
tenancy law, Act VIII of 1865. 

The district munsifs are four in number; namely, those of 
Dindigul, Madura, Periyakulam and Tirumangalam. 

More village munsifs hear civil cases in Madura than in any 
other district, and the Bench Courts established in 1895 under Act 
I of 1889 at the various taluk head-quarters also try more suits 
than the similar bodies in any other Collectorate. 

!Madura is one of the most litigious areas in the Presidency. Amount of 
Including the Eamnad and Sivaganga zamindaris, the ratio of ^it^i^ation. 
suits to population is higher in this district than anj^iere else 
except Tanjore, Malabar and Tinnevelly. 

The registration of assurances is effected in the usual manner. Registration. 
A District Eegistrar is located at Madura and there are eighteen 
sub -registrars. The latter are stationed at the eight taluk head- 
quarters and also at Vedasandur in Dindigul, Ponmeni and 
Solavandan in Madura, Nattam in Meliir, Sattirapatti in Palni, 
Bodindyakkanur and Uttamapdlaiyam in Periyakulam, and Kalli- 
gudi, Peraiyur and Usilampatti in Tirumangalam. 

The criminal tribunals are of the same classes as in other Criminat, 
districts. Special magistrates exercise powers under the Towns J^st'ce. 
Nuisances Acfc in Nattam and Bodinayakkanur. and benches with ^i-n^unals" '^ 
second-class powers sit at Dindigul and Madura. 

The district is one of the most criminal in all Madras. An Crimc 
average of ten years' statistics shows that tlie number of persons 
who were convicted in it of the graver classes of crime was hii»-her 
than in any other Collectorate, and that in respect to offences 
against the public tranquillity it stood at the head of all the 
districts ; in regard to thefts was second among thorn ; in respect 
to murders, hurts and assaults and cattle thefts, ranked third ; was 
fourth in other offences against property ; and fifth in culpable 
lioraicides and dacoities. 

The position of Madura in these tables is no doubt adversely 
affected by the facts that the figures are absolute, and not worked 




f'TTAP. XIII. out proportionatoly to tho popnlation, and tliai incliifling tho 

Criminai, ]7ainnad and vSivaqan^a zamindaris tlie district is one of tlio most 
Justice. • .t t-i • i t> j jit .i 
j^opulons in t!io i rosulcnej. but nono tho Joss tlio rosults ai'o 

strikinof. Dacoitios of ti'avollors on tlio ]>uLlic roads used nntil 

roeontly to bo common, but the gangs v.-lrlcli infested tlio most 

unsafe of tlio roads, tluit from Ainmayanayakkanur to I'eriyaaulam, 

have now been Ijroken up and this class of crime is comparatively 

rare. Special ' road talaijaris,' paid from Police Funds, still patrol 

the Dindigul-Palni road. 

Jail statistics amply prove that a very large proportion of the 
crime is committed by one caste, the Kalians, and it is not too 
much to say that if these people could by any miracle be reclaimed 
from, their evil ways the district would immediately lose the 
unenviable reputation it now possesses. Some account of the com- 
munity and its methods has already been given on pp. 88-96 above. 

The other criminal castes may be dismissed in a few words. 
Tlie Maravans and Agamudaiyans, who are prominent in the 
Ramnad zamindari and the north of Tinnevelly, commit but little 
crime in ^Afadura. The Kuravans and Valaiyans give some trouble 
in Palni taluk, the former being addicted chiefly to theft and the 
latter being daring at house-dacoity, especially on the Coimbatore 
border. A certain number of wandering gangs, composed of castes 
who are generally classified as criminal, visit the district, but their 
share of the crime committed is small. They are chiefly Oddes 
(Woddahs) from Salem and Anantapur, Valaiyans from Coimbatore, 
Dcisaris from the Nellore country and Togamalai Kuravans from 
Trichinopoly. The last two, especially the T(%amalai Kuravans, 
are often prominent at festivals, where they commit much 
skilful petty theft among the pilgrims. Several other sub-divisions 
of tlie Kuravans, such as those which practise ear-boring and 
basket-making, are common in the district, but they are usually 
harmless folk. 

As in the other southelm districts of the Presidency, the only 
police force in Madura in the days before tho Company acquired 
the country was that supplied by what was known as the J;nmli 
system. This was arranged as follows : In the days of the 
Mayakkans, as has been explained in Chapter XI (p. 180) above, 
the district was divided into a number of estates which 
were handed over to chiefs called poligars on condition that they 
collected the revenue, sent a certain proportion of this to the royal 
exchequer, spent a part on maintaining a fixed cjuota of troops 
ready for immediate active service, and were responsible for kdvali 
or the maintenance of law and order, in their charges, 




The last of these duties was usually fulfilled by appointing- a CHAP. XIII. 
head Jcdvalgdr, or watchman, who was given land free of rent, and Police. 
was authorized to collect certain periodical fees in money or kind 
from the inhabitants on the understanding that he put down crime 
and made good any property which was stolen. Under this head 
kdmlgdr were a number of subordinate hdvalgdrs who received 
similar emoluments and undertook a similar responsibility in each 
village or group of villages. 

After the downfall of the Nayakkans, the system was less 
rigorously enforced, and it degenerated by degrees into little less 
than the organized extortion of black-mail. 

When the British took over the country they accordingly 
resumed the inams and emoluments of the head kdvalgdrs, and 
themselves took over their duties by appointing talaiyaris and 
peons to guard the villagers from thefts. The system was a failure. 
The talaiyaris were badly paid and worse supervised, and the 
conflict between their revenue and police duties resulted in the 
neglect of the latter. 

The present police force, like that in other districts, was estab- The existing- 
Hshed by Act XXIV of 1859. It is under the control of a ^"'■°^- 
superintendent. As elsewhere, it includes a ' reserve ' of picked 
men at head-quarters who are better drilled and armed than the 
main body and would be of use in case of open disturbance of the 
public peace. 

The prisons of Madura comprise the District Jail at the head- Jails. 
quarters, and the sub-jails at the stations of the tahsildars and 
deputy tahsildars elsewhere. 

The present District Jail stands (see the map facing p. 258) to 
the north-east of Madura town and just north of the road thence 
to Dindigul. The building- was begun in 1 866 with convict labour 
and was finished, at a cost of about Es. 65,000, in December 1869. 
A proposal to locate it on the race-course was thoug-ht to be 
dangerous, since if an outbreak occurred among- the convicts when 
the Vaigai was in flood it would not in those days have been 
possible to cross the river to suppress it. The old District Jail 
was in the building near the north-west corner of the temple which 
is usually called ' Mangamm^l's Palace,' and the civil prisoners 
remained in this even after the convicts had been transferred to 
their new quarters. 

In August 1872 the construction of separate wards at the new 
jail for civil debtors was sanctioned, and these were completed in 
1874-75 at a cost of nearly Es. 20,000. In 1882-83 separate 
wards and solitary cells for female prisoners were built. They 
cost Es. 10,000. 






List of Judges. 

No. Date. 




20 Oct. 


Mr. D. Cockburne. 


5 Jnne 


Mr. W. R. Irwin. 


25 >5ept. 


Mr. J. D'Acre (Acting). 


31 (Jet. 


Mr. W. R. Irwin. 


18 Jau. 


Mr. T. A. Oakes (Acting). 


13 May 


Mr. W. R Irwin. 


2] May 


Mr. E. Powney (Acting). 


21 July 


Mr. G. F. Cherry (Acting). 


17 Aug. 


Mr. E. Powney (Acting), 


15 April 


Mr. J. Long. 

(No records.) 


14 Sept. 


Mr. W. 0. Shakespeare (Acting). 


11 Nov. 


Mr. J. Long. 


6 Ang. 


Mr. J. Riddell. 


26 May 


Mr. W. 0. Shakespeai-e (Acting). 


7 March 


Mr. W. 0. Shakespeare. 

(No records.) 


17 Jan. 

J 822. 

Mr. Q. W. Saunders (Acting)". 


23 Feb. 


Mr. W. 0. Shakespeare. 

(No rec 



18 July 


Mr. S. Nicholls. 


31 Au?. 


Mr. H. Wroughton (In charge). 


24 Oct. 


Mr. S. Nicholls. 


14 Feb. 


Mr. W. R. Taylor (Acting) 


22 Dec. 


Mr. E. Bannerman (Acting). 


27 March 


Mr. A. E. Angelo (Acting). 


2 June 


Mr. E. Bannerman. 


26 Dec. 


Mr. J. C. Scott (Acting). 


7 ilay 


Mr. G. S. Hooper (Acting). 


19 f eb. 


.Mr. R. H. Williamscn (In charge). 


17 March 


Mr. J. C. Scctt (Acting). 


28 July 


Mr. G. S. Hooper. 




Mr. E. P. Thompson (Acting). 


5 Oct. 


Mr. D. R. Limond (In charge). 


20 Aug. 


Mr. T. A. Anstruther (Acting). 


6 Oct. 


Mr. W. Elliott (Acting). 


3 July 


Mr. H. Babington. 


24 Feb. 


Mr. J. Horsley (Acting). 


1 June 


Mr G. F. Bishop (Acting). 


6 July 


Mr. J. Horsley. 


16 Oct. 


Mr. F. Copleston (In charge). 


20 Oct. 


Mr. J. G. S. Bruere (Acting). 


2 March 


Mr. W. Elliott (Acting^. 


9 June 


Mr. W, A. Forsyth (Acting). 

(No records.) 


9 Jan. 


Mr. W. Douglas. 


6 Sept. 


Mr. W. Elliott (Acting). 


10 Oct. 


Mr. G. S. Hooper. 




Mr. G. S. Greenway. 




Ml-. C. R. Baynes. 

* The entries Nos. 1 to 44 were prepared from the records available in the 
Collector's office, and the date given against each officer is the date of the first 
of the letters written by him to the Collector, and not that of his appointment. 



juisi Of juages — cont. 


-i Appendix. 





Feb. 1855. 

Mr. A. W. Phillips. 


14 April 1855. 

Mr. T. Clarke. 


Oct. 1855. 

Mr. H. D. Cook. 


April 1856. 

Mr. A. W.Phillips. 


18 Jan. 1858. 

Mr. D. Mayne. 


11 March 1858. 

Mr. R. K. Cotton. 


17 Feb. 1864. 

Mr. J. D. Goldingham. 


1 March 1864. 

Mr. C.E,. Polly. 


1 Feb. 1865. 

Mr. J. D. Goldingham. 


May 1865 

Mr. C. N. Pochin. 


Oct. 1865. 

Mr. 11. 11. Cotton. 


April 1867 

Mr. E. C. (t. Thomas. 


June 1868. 

Mr. G. P. Sharpe. 


28 Sept. 1868. 

Mr. J. H. Daniel. 


1 Oct. 1868. 

Mr. J. D. Goldingham. 


23 Oct. 1872. 

Mr. P. P. Hiitchins. 


13 March 1874. 

Mr. F. U. WoodrotTe. 


30 July 1875. 

Mr. H. W. Bliss. 


1 Sept. 1875. 

Mr. W. H. Glenny. 


15 Dec. 1875. 

Mr. P. P. Hutchins. 


16 June 1879. 

Mr. W. A. Happen. 


1 Sept. 1879. 

Mr. P. P. inutchins. 


28 March 1881. 

Mr. E. Turner. 


1 May 1881. 

Mr. P. P. Hutchins. 


6 July 1881. 

Mr.C. W. W. Martin. 


17 Nov. 1881. 

Mr. E. Turner. 


28 Feb. 1882. 

Mr. P. P. Hutchins. 


7 Dec. 1882. 

Mr. E. Turner. 


1 Sept. 1884. 

Mr. T. Weir. 


10 Sept. ] 886. 

Mr. L. Moore. 


23 Oct. 1886. 

Mr. T Weir. 


2 March 1888. 

Mr. n. T. Ross. 


1 Sept. 1890. 

Mr. J. Twigg. 


1 Jan. 1891. 

Mr. T. Weir. 


27 July 1891. 

Mr. S. Kussell (Additional Sessions Judge). 


5 March 1892. 

Mr. S. H. Wynne. 


9 Jan. 1893. 

Mr. J. W. F. Duraergue. 


8 April 1896. 

Mr. G. E. L. Campbell. 


22 June 1896. 

Mr. A. F. Pinhey. 


24 Oct. 1896. 

Mr. S. Russell. 


28 Feb. 1S99. 

Mr. H. Moborly. 


7 April 1905. 

Mr. J. Hevvetson. 


9 March 1906. 

Mr. A. F. Pinhey. 1 






The Local 

The Unions. 

The Local Board3— The Unions— Finances of the Boards. The five munici- 
palities — Madura municipality — Improvements effected by it — The water- 
supply scheme— Drainage — Dindignl municipality — Water-supply — Palni 
municipality — Periyaknlam municipality — Kodaikanal municipality. 

Outside the five municipalities referred to below, local affairs are 
managed hj the District Board and the four taluk boards of 
Dindigul, Madura, Melur and Tirumangalam. The jurisdictions of 
the first and last of these latter correspond with those of the divisional 
officers of Dindigul and Tirumangalam, and the Madura and Melur 
taluk boards have charge respectively of the taluks after which 
they are named. When the Local Boards Act of 1884 was first 
introduced into the district, the three taluks of Dindigul, Pakii 
(which then included Kodaikanal) and Periyakulam had each their 
own taluk board ; the charge of the Tirumangalam board included 
so much of the Madura taluk as lay south of the Vaigai ; and the 
rest of Madura and aU Melur were directly under the District 
Board. Early in 1887 the part of Madura south of the Vaigai 
was transferred to the care of this latter body, and later in the 
same year the Madura and Melur taluk boards were constituted. 
The Dindigul, Palni and Periyakulam boards were amalgamated 
in 1894. 

Nineteen of the larger villages have been constituted unions. 
Under the Dindigul board are those at Ayyampalaiyam, Ayakkudi, 
Bodinayakkanur, Chinnamanur, Gudalur, Kalayamuttur (Neikkara- 
patti), Kambam, Kilamangalam, Melamangalam, Uttamap^laiyam 
and Vedasandur ; under the Melur board, those at Melur and 
Nattam ; and under the Tirumangalam board those at Nilakkottai, 
Feraiyur, Solavandan, Tirumangalam, Usilampatti and Vattila- 
gundu. Of these, Nilakkottai was established in L'^SS, Gudalur 
in 1901 , and all the rest in 1885. As elsewhere, the chief item in 
their income is the house-tax, and this is levied at the maximum 
rates allowed by the Act in aU of them except Solavandan and 
Tirumangalam (where it is collected at three-quarters of this 
maximum) and Peraiyur and Usilampatti, in which only half rates 
are charged. The incidence per house is lowest (nine annas or 
less) in Kalayamuttur and Ayakkudi, and highest (Re. 1-10-2) in 


the; flourishing town of Bodinayakkanur. In 1905 the Collector CHAP. XJV. 
suggested that the last-named place, sanitary conditions in which The Local 
have long been unsatisfactory, should be constituted a munici- 0*^8. 
pality, but Government vetoed the proposal. 

The separate Appendix to this volume contains statistics of the Finances of 
receipts and expenditure of the boards and unions. Including the ^® °^^ "* 
figures for the Eamnad and Sivaganga zamindaris, the incidence 
of local taxation per head of the population, both including and 
excluding the receipts from toUs, and also the similar incidence of 
the total local fund receipts, are greatly below the average for the 
Presidency as a whole, or the level in the adjoining districts of 
Tanjore and I'innevelly. The figure is brought down by the 
unusually low incidence in the country under the Dindigul and 
Tirumangalam boards, and the inference arises that these areas are 
by no means overtaxed. 

The chief source of the receipts is the land-cess, which is levied 
at the usual rate of one anna per rupee of the land assessment. 
Next comes the house-tax, and then the toUs, which are fixed at 
three-fourths of the maximum rates allowed by the Act. Other 
conspicuous items are the income from markets, which is larger 
than in any other district except Coimbatore, and that from the 
produce of the avenue trees, which is exceeded only in South Arcot 
and Salem. 

The principal objects on which local funds are expended are 
(as usual) the roads, the hospitals and dispensaries, and the 
schools. These have already been referred to in Chapters VII, 
IX and X respectively. 

The five municipal towns are Madura, Dindigul, Palni, The five 
Periyakulam and Kodaikanal. The first two of these places were '^'.'rfJr^I 
originally constituted municipalities on 1st November 1866 under 
the old Towns Improvement Act X of 1865, and continued as such 
under that enactment's successors, the Towns Improvement Act 
III of 1871 and the present District Municipalities Act. The 
Palni and Periyakulam municipalities were founded much later. 
A committee which reported in 1884 on the extension of local 
self-government in this Presidency recommended that us a general 
role all places which had 10,000 inhabitants and upwards and were 
also the head-quarters of a tahsildar or deputy tahsildar should be 
turned into municipalities. Both Palni and Perijakulam came 
within this description and on 1st April 1886, in spite of the 
vehement protests of their population, they were constituted 
municipal towns accordingly. Kodaikanal was made a munici- 
pality on 1st October 1899. It is much the smallest in the 



The five 



by it. 

The water- 



The medical and educational institutions maintained by tlie 
councils of these various towns have been referred to in Chapters 
IX and X respectively, and it remains to consider their other 
permanent undertakings. 

The Madura municipal council consisted in 1884 of sixteen 
members, of whom seven were elected b_y the rate-payers and the 
rest nominated by Government. In the next year the number on 
the council was raised to 24, of whom 18 were elected. Soon 
afterwards factions arose, and by 1891 disunion had reached such 
a pitch that Government deprived the council of the power of 
electing its own chairman. The privilege was restored in 1896. 
A paid secretary to assist the chairman was appointed in 1898, but 
the step was not altogether a success and in L902 the council 
decided to have as chairman a f uU-time officer on a salary of from 
Es. 400 to Ks. 600. This arrangement still continues. The 
addition of another ex-officio member has now raised the total 
strength of the council to 25. 

The permanent visible improvements effected by this body 
since it was first established are many. In 1871-72 a municipal 
office was provided by altering, at a cost of Hs. 5,000, an outlying 
building belonging to Tirumala Nayakkan's palace. In the same 
year was put up the clock which adorns one of the two turrets at 
the east end of the palace. In 1 873 the then maternity hospital 
was extended at a cost of Es. 2,500 and in July 1876 the branch 
dispensary, on which Es. 18,000 had been spent, was opened. In 
1884 the causeway across the Vaigai was put in thorough repair, 
trees were planted in the streets, the People^s Park referred to on 
p. 264, was formed and the first water-supply project (see below) 
was carried into effect ; and at about the same time the council 
subscribed Rs. 10,000 to the bridge across the Vaigai (see p. 156) 
which was opened in 1889. The latest notable undertakings have 
been the opening of the dispensary for women and children in 
1894, the laying out of the garden called the Edward Park which 
was opened on Coronation Day, and the provision of the greater 
part of the cost of the erection of the excellent new range of 
buildings for the hospital referred to on p. 172. 

The first water-supply project for Madura was suggested as 
long ago as 1849. The scheme consisted in widening the Pallava- 
rayan channel, which takes off from the Yaigai about 4^ miles 
above Madura, and leading it along a high earthen embankment 
into a reservoir in the town. The supply would have been very 
fitful, as the water only reached the channel on the rare occasions 
when the river was in fresh. It was intended to utilise the water, 



not only for drinking, but for flusliing the side-channels in the CHAP. XIV 
streets. An estimate for Es. 28,600 was sanctioned in 1851. By The hvr 
18$9, Bs 20,000 had been spent, but the work was still unfinished polities. 

and it was calculated that Rs. 18,800 more than the amount of the 

original estimate would be required. In 18fJ2, 1863 and 1864 
fresh estimates were sanctioned, and the expenditure eventually 
amounted to Rs. 51,200. The project, however, was never com- 
pleted. In the seventies several other schemes were suggested 
or discussed, but none of them ever came to anything.^ 

In 1884 a new scheme, due to Mr. Crole, the then Collector, 
was carried out. This consisted in sinking a masonry well in 
the bed of the V^aigai (near the Maya mantapam just above the 
Yaigai bridge) to tap the copious undej-flow of that river, and 
pumping the water thence by steam to an iron cistern placed 27 feet 
above the ground near the 'elephant stone' (seep. 267) at the 
southern end of the causeway. Water was also supplied to the 
golden-lily tank in the Minakshi temple on the trustees of that 
institution paying the cost of the pipes. This, the first regular 
water-supply scheme in the Madras Presidency, was a great 
success as far as it went. The high floods of November 1884 did 
some damage to the well and the pipe, but in the next year a 
bigger pump was put down, another well was sunk and linked 
with the first, larger pipes were laid and another cistern was put 
up near Blackburne's lamp (see p. 267). By the end of the 
year 1887-88 a third well had been made and the pipes had been 
carried through seventeen streets containing nearly two-fifths of 
the total population of the town. The outlay had amounted to 
Es. 70,000. 

The rapid increase in the population of the town necessitated 
still more water, however, and it became evident that a more 
comprehensive scheme was essential. Eventually Mr. J. A. Jones, 
then Sanitary Engineer to Government, designed the project which 
is now working. This was sanctioned in 1892. The cost of it 
was Rs. 4,27,050 and Government made a free grant of half this 
sum and lent the council Es. 1,96,000 in addition. The project 
consisted in tapping the underflow in the Vaigai by erecting a 
barrage wall across the river at a point so far above the town as to 
be safe from contamination, making a filtration gallery just above 
this wall, running the filtered water thus collected into a well on 
the bank, and thence raising it by steam pumps to a point from 
which it would supply the town by gravitation. The annual 
charges for the extinction of the loan from Government in thirty 

^ See Iht luater-supply of Madura by Mr. J. E. O'fihaughnessy, Madras, 1888. 



The FiVK 



years were estimated to be Rs. 12,868 and for pumping- Es. 19,885, 
making the total cost of maintaining the scheme Rs. 32,753. 

The work was completed in two years and opened on 1st May 
1894. But long before it was finished the discovery was made 
that the barrage wall had been placed by Mr. Jones in a most 
unfortunate spot. This had been selected chiefly on engineering 
grounds, because it was believed that the superficial area of the 
water-bearing strata there was larger than elsewhere ; but as a 
matter of fact a ridge of rocks runs across the river-bed not far 
above the barrage wall and turns the underflow out of the bed into 
subterranean ways to the west, through which it eventually finds 
its way back into the river opposite the town, but below the barrage 
wall. The big well at the spinning-mill near the railway-station 
taps one of these underground springs and contains an extra- 
ordinary supply, but the amount available at the barrage was 
quite unequal to the demand. 

An attempt was made to meet this radical defect in the scheme 
by carrying the filtration gallery right across the bed at an additional 
cost of Rs. 22,000. This did but little good, so in February 1895 
a collecting channel was excavated for some 1 ,300 yards upstream 
from the barrage. This was filled up by a fresh a couple of months 
later. It was excavated again in July in the same year and the 
filtration gallery was also covered with gravel, instead of sand, to 
assist percolation. In 1899 the supply was temporarily increased 
in the dry season by opening the sand-sluices in the Chittanai 
anient and letting some of the Periyar water down the river, but 
there are many objections to the systematic adoption of this course, 
and after much discussion an estimate for Rs. 1,32,000 has been 
drawn up for cutting a trench for some 3,350 yards up the bed, 
through the ridge of rocks above mentioned, and laying in it an 
18-inch stoneware pipe. This is now before the council. 

A scheme for the drainage of that part of the town which is 
bounded by the four Masi streets, the population of which is about 
23,000, was completed in 1902. It was designed on the Shone 
system and provides for leading the sewage into four ejector stations 
serving an equal number of separate areas and actuated by com- 
pressed air supplied through iron pipes from a central station. The 
sewage thus collected was to be passed into a sealed iron main 
under pressure and thence through a detritus tank and bacterial 
filters to a farm of about 177 acres on which sugar-cane and forage 
crops were to be grown. The estimates amounted to 6| lakhs and 
the annual charges, including establishment and provision for a 
sinking fund, to about Rs. 47,000. Against this had to be set the 
profit from the farm, which was put at Es. 29,000 annually. 


Government considered tliat tlie scheme was clearly beyond the CIIAP. XlV. 
resources of the municipality, and tlie Sanitary Board accordingly The fivk 
so revised it as to reduce the cost to 3| lakhs. The reduction was palitikh, 

effected by substituting- pumping by oil-engines for the Shone 

system of raising the sewage ; by simplifpng the treatment of the 
sewage at the outfall ; and by reducing the area of the proposed 
farm. The Sanitary Board calculated that, adopting these prin- 
ciples, a scheme for the whole town could be carried out for ten 
laklis and that the annual maintenance charges would amount to 
Rs. 63,000. Government have asked the Sanitary Engineer to 
prepare detailed estimates for such a scheme. 

The Dindigul council consists of fourteen members, of whom Dindigul 
nine are elected by the rate-payers. This privilege of election was municipality, 
conferred in 1884 and in the next year the council was first given 
permission to elect its own chairman. The chief permanent 
improvements carried out in the tovni have been the construction 
of the market (first erected in 1872 at a cost of Hs. 3,500 and 
since added to at a further outlay of Rs. 7,500) and the inauguration 
of a water-supply scheme. 

The first attempt to provide the town with good water was Water- 
made in 1 885 by Mr. Crole, and consisted in pumping a supply ^^PP^J- 
from a well sunk in a neighbouring tank to a service reservoir 
whence it was distributed by pipes. It failed because the water 
.was of bad quality. 

In 1890 the Sanitary Engineer proposed a scheme which 
provided for collecting a supply in an underground tunnel cut in 
the soft rock to the west of the railway line, and for pumping it 
thence to the town. Tlie estimate was for Rs. 71,700 and the 
annual working charges were put at Rs. 5,51 1 . Government sanc- 
tioned this in the next year and gave half the cost from Provincial 
Funds. Work was begun in 1892, but experiments showed that 
the supply of water in the rock was very doubtful and Government 
therefore ordered that the tunnel should be made in the first 
instance from Provincial Funds and should only be charged to the 
council if it was a success. By 1894 a tunnel 540 feet lono- ]iad 
been driven and a supply estimated at J-,000 gallons an hour was 
obtained, and the rest of the scheme was accordingly put in hand. 
The work was finished in August 1896 and consists of a g-allery 
8 feet wide and 5il feet long, with lateral adits, tunnelled through 
soft rock 44 feet below ground level, two steam pumps, a service 
reservoir capable of liolding 91,000 gallons, and the necessary 
piping and hydrants, 




The Five 




T]ie yield from the gallery, liowever, belied its first promise 
and soon fell to only 6f-,000 gallons in the 24 hours. It was at 
first proposed to meet the diflSculty by extending the tunnel, but 
eventually it was decided to dig a new trench in another site, the 
Odukkam valley. After several trials had been made and several 
rival schemes projected, Government eventually sanctioned, in 
IDO-i", a proposal to cul a trench about 20 feet deep and -^00 yards 
long in the valley, nearly fill this with broken stone in which were 
embedded three rows of earthenware pipes one above the other, 
close the top of it with sand, and lead the water thus collected and 
filtered to the town by gravitation. The estimates amounted 
to Hs. 51,900 and Government made a free grant of half this suni 
and lent the council Rs. 1 6,8(^0 more on the usual terms. The 
work was completed in 1905 but the supply is disappointing. 

The Palni council consists of twelve members, of whom four 
have been elected since 1897. The chairman is appointed by 
Government. The council's chief undertaking has been to pro- 
vide itself with an office at a cost of lis. 4,000, but in addition 
a slaughter-house has been built and improvements have been 
effected to the hospital and the medical officer's quarters. The 
present water-supply is from the Vyupuri tank, into which the 
whole drainage of the town flows uninterruptedly. Consequently 
cholera is common enough, and is sometimes carried hence all 
over the country by the pilgrims to the Subrahmanya shrine in 
the town, ^he richer classes get water brought in from the 
Shanmuganadi. Schemes for running an intercepting sewer round 
the foreshore of the tank and for pumping water from the river 
have been suggested, but they are beyond the means of the 
council, and the present policy is to endeavour to check the 
pollution of the foreshore of the tank. 

Tlie Periyakulam council is constituted like that of Palni. 
Except that it has built a small hospital and a choultry, ix, has 
done nothing outside the usual routine duties. Drinking-water is 
obtained from the Vardhanadi, which flows through the middle of 
the town and receives the whole of the drainage from either bank. 
The Berijam project, referred to on page 125, will shortly, 
however, render available a purer supply. A great need in 
Periyakulam. is a bridge (or at least a causeway) across the 
Varahanadi. All the heavy traffic from Bodinayakkanur and the 
Kambam valley has to cross this river, and is at present often 
blocked for days together by freshes ; while even when only a little 
water is passing down, the cart-bullocks have to be shamefully 
thrashed and ;;oaded to get them through the clinging mud of 



wMcli the bed consists. The municipality is constructing a 
suspension bridge for foot-passengers across the river at an 
estimated cost of Rs. 7,100. 

The Kodaikanal council consists of twelve members, none of 
whom are elected. The drinking-water of the station is at present 
obtained from wells and springs. In 1902 a scheme for an im- 
proved supply was worked out. This included the construction of 
a storage tank on tlio Pi^mbar (the catchment area of which has 
already been reserved by Government to protect it from pollution) 
by damming it about ^70 yards above the Fairy Falls, and the 
conveyance of the water by a pipe througli the embankment to a 
cistern jast below this, thence al^ng an open channel 1,450 yards 
in length to a service reservoir on a ridge commanding the place, 
and thence throughout the station, by pipes. Any surplus was to 
be led into the lake, the supply to which is often less than the 
evaporation and leakage through the bund. The estimate was 
Es. 49,000 and the annual charges, including working expenses 
and sinking fund, Es. 4,300. Subsequently it was considered 
essential that the dam should be of masonry. This raised the cost 
to Rs. 62,250. 'Ihe municipal council professed its inability to 
finance the scheme, and the question of Government assistance is 
under consideration. The project would not command houses built 
either along the Pillar l?ocks road or in the Tinnevelly settlement, 
the two directions in which alone any large extension of the station 
is possible. 

TnK irivE 



328 MADUKA. 


DiNUiGUL Taluk — Agnram — Ambaturai — Xttdr — AyyampSlaiyam— Dindigul — 
Emakkalapuram — Eriyodu— Kaimivadi— Kiivakkapatti — Madur— Mariinuttu 

— Palakkanuttu— Sukkanipatti-Tadikkombu — TaTasimadai— Y^dasanddt. 
KoDAiKANAi- Taluk- Kodaikanal. ]\[adura Taluk— Anaimalai — Anuppanadi 

— Kodimangalam — Madura — MaDgulam — Pasunialai — Sirupalai — Tirup- 
parankunram — Velliyakuiidam. Melur Taluk — Alagarkovil — Aiittapatti — 
Karungftlakudi— Kottar-patti— Melur-Nattam— Tiruvadur. Nilakkottai 
Taluk - Ammayanayakkandr — Kulas4kharaiik6ttai — Mettuppatti — Nilakkot- 
tai — Sandaiyur — Solavandan — Tiniv6dagam — Tottiyankottai — Vattilap;Dudu. 
Palni Taluk — Aivarmalai — Ayakkudi — Idaiyankottai — Kalayaniuttur— 
Kirandr — Mambarai - Palni — Rettayambadi — V61ur — Yirupakshi. Periya- 
KULAM Taluk — Allinagaram — Andipatti — Aniirriandanpatti — Hodinayak- 
kanur — Chin nam an dr — Devadanapatti — Erasakkanayakkandr — Gantaniana- 
yakkanur — Gddaldr — Kambam — Kombai — Maigaiyaukdttai — Periyakulam 

— T^varam — Uttamapalaiyam — Vadakarai — Yi'rapandi. Tirumangalam 
Taluk — Anaij-dr — Doddappanayakkanur — Elumalai— Jotilnayakkantir — 
Kalligudi — Kilakkottai — Kovilankulani — Knppalanattam — M^lakkdttai — 
Nadukkottai — Peraiydr — Puliyankulam — Sandaiyur — S6ptur -Tirumanga- 
lam — Usilampatti — Uttappanayakkandr — Yikkiramangalam. 


CHAP. XY. DiNDiGUL (formerly called the Tadikkombu) taluk occupies the 
Dindioul. north-east corner of the district and consists of an open plain of 
red land surrounded on the east by the Ailur hills and the Karan- 
damalais, on the south by the Sirumalai?, and on the west by tlie 
Lower Palnis and the little range of rocky heights running south 
from the Eangamalai and Karumalai peaks. The taluk slopes 
sharply northwards from the pass between the Sirumalais and 
Palnis and is drained in that direction by the Kodavandr and its 
many tributaries. Next to Palni, Dindigul gets less rain than any 
part of the district and it has practically no irrigation channels. 
Consequently most of the land is dependent upon local rain, and the 
tract suffered severely in the great famine of 1876-78. Nearly a 
third of it is cultivated with cholam, and large areas are also cropped 
with cambu and samai. Dindigul tobacco is well known. Like 
Palni, the taluk is famous for its numerous wells, and as much as 
9 per cent, of its irrigated area is watered by them. 


Statistics regarding- Dindigul will Le found in tlie separate CHAP. XV. 
Appendix to this volume. After Peri) akulam, it is tlie largest of Dindigul. 
the Madura taluks and it contains more people, and also more 
Musalmans and Cliristians, than any of them. The climate is 
reputed to be particularly healthy. Tlie chief commercial and 
industrial centre is Dindigul, and accounts of tliis and the other 
principal places within the taluk follow hereunder : — 

Agaram : Six miles north of Dindigul on the other side of the 
Kodavanar, facing Tadikkoiuha ; population 5,'3','5 ; police-station. 

The village is widely known for the festival at its Muttalamma 
temple which occurs in SeptemLer-Octoljer and is attended Ly 
crowds from near and far. The huilding faces the Kodavanar and 
architecturally is not remarkable, but the ceremonies at the feast 
are curious. This latter cannot take place unless the goddess sig- 
nifies her approval, which is revealed by the chirping of lizards on 
the northern of the two great demons, eight feet high, which guard 
the shrine on either side. If the lizards are silent, no festival 
occurs ; and this is a bad omen for the coming north-east monsoon. 
If the celebration of the feast is sanctioned, a silver chakram 
(quoit), which is kept in a box in the temple ami Jield in great 
reverence, is first taken, for several days in succession, to a certain 
mantapam, where worship is paid it. Tliree days before tlie actual 
festival, an image of the goddess is made of clay and this and the 
box are escorted to several different mantapams with due formality. 
On the Tuesday on which the ceremonies reach their climax the 
clay idol and box are taken together to a flower-garden across the 
river, the box returns to the temple, and in front of the idol sacrifices 
of very many sheep, goats and fowls are made by those who have 
taken vows to do so. The mud image is afterwards left to the 
mercy of the weather and slowly crumbles away. On the days 
following the sacrifices, the assembled crowd is entertained witli 
such popular plays (acted by Kuttadis) as Ifan'schaju/ra tidfakaia 
and so forth. 

Ambaturai : Seven miles S.S.W. of j)indigal ; population 
5,702 ; railway -station, it stands on the high ground between the 
Palnis and the Sirunuilais, and is as much as 097 feet above the sea. 
Near it is one of thi' highest points on all the South Indian Railway 
and the gradients on either side of this are severe. The village is a 
small weaving centre and a depot for the products of tlie adjoin- 
ing Siriimalai hills, and was formerly the capital of one of the 
26 p^laiyams comprised in the Dindigul country at the time of 
its cession to the Company. The liistory of this up to tlien is 
referred to on pp. 70 and 183. It was a small estate some 

230 MADURA. 

,CHAP. XV. 21 square miles in extent, of whicli eiglit square miles were on 
DixDiGUL. tlie Sirumalais. In 1795 it was reported to consist mainly of 
cultivable dry land and to be paying a peshkash of 1,500 cliakrams 
annually. By 1816 it had been ravaged by the great epidemic of 
fever, the inhabitants had emigrated in large numbers, the poligar 
had mismanaged it, and the Collector had resumed it for arrears. 

Attur : Population 8,704. Lies on the upper waters of the 
Kodavanar, ten miles south-west of Dindigul, close under the 
Lower Palnis. The new Attur ghat up these hills, now under 
construction (p. 156), starts from near here. A channel from 
the river irrigates some 750 acres assessed at Rs. 4 ,200 and is the 
onl}' considerable work of its kind in the talnk. 

Attur is locally very celebrated for its festival to V"andik^li- 
amman, a form of the well-known goddess Kali. Her temple, 
curiously enough, contains also an image of Muttalamma, and a 
feast to each of the two goddesses takes place on alternate years, 
turn and turn about. That to Vandikaliamma is probably the 
better appreciated of the two. It takes place in the month of 
Panguni (March- April) and the great day in it is the Tuesday 
(festivals to Kali are usually fixed for a Tuesday) after the 
full moon. 

Some time before the feast begins, the Pallans of the place go 
round to the adjoining villages and collect the many buffaloes 
which have been dedicated to the goddess during the past two 
years and have been allowed in consequence to graze unmolested 
and where they willed in the fields. These are brought in to Attur 
and one of them is selected, garlanded and placed in tha temple. 

On the Sunday preceding the chief day of the feast, the village 
potter brings somQ earth to the shrine and it is consecrated and 
returned to him. From this he manufactures an image of K^li 
which is taken round the village with all kinds of music and 
eventually placed in the temple. The people assemble there on 
the Tuesday and do puja and perform the vows they have taken 
to the goddess during the past months. 

On the I'hursday occurs the great sacrificing of the dedicated 
buffaloes. The one which was garlanded and put in the temple is 
brought out, led round the village in state and then, in front of 
the temple, is given three cuts with a knife by a Chakkiliyan who 
lias fasted that day to purify himself for the rite. The privilege 
of actually killing the animal belongs by immemorial usage to the 
head of the family of the former poligar of Nilakkottai, but lie 
deputes certain Pallans to take his place, and they fall upon the 
animal and slay it. Afterwards twenty or thirty other buffaloes 


(the number varies with the number of people who have taken CHAP. XV. 
vows to carry out this rite) are sacrificed on the same spot. Their 1)indk;lt.. 
bodies are eventually buried in front of the shrine. 

This festival is the only one in the district at which any 
considerable number of these animals is thus offered up. The 
ceremony is supposed, to commemorate the triumph of Kali over 
the buffalo-headed demon Mahishasura, which event is wonder- 
fully depicted among- the sculptures at the ' Seven Pagodas ' in 
Ching-leput district and is fabled to have occurred at Mysore 
(whence the name of that town) where, on the great rock overlooking 
the place, is a famous temple to Kali. 

On the Friday of the Attur feast the image of tlie goddess 
which the potter made is taken in procession again and left in a 
flower-garden (compare the ritual at the festival at Agaram) wliere 
sheep, goats and fowls are sacrificed before it. These doings, 
however, are rather private affairs than part of the real ceremonies. 
For a week thereafter the temple is shut up and puja is only done 
outside its doors. 'I'hen it is formally purified by the village 
Panchangi Brahman (no Brahman has thus far had any hand in 
any of the rites) and worship goes on as before. These later 
doings have the appearance of an apology for the sacrifices which 
have occurred. 

When it is Muttalamma's turn for the festival, no buffalo 
sacrifices occur, but otherwise the ritual is much the same. 

Ayyampalaiyam : A union of 13,881 inhabitants lying 
eighteen miles in a direct line south-west of Dindigul, in a valley 
of the Lower Palnis belonging to the Kannivtidi zamindari and 
watered by the Ayyamp£aiyam river. 

The place is said to get its name from its well-known temple to 
Aiyanar. It does a great trade with the Lower Palnis in the staple 
products of that range. 'I he river is prettily fringed with cocoanut 
and mango topes and is crossed by a dam. Messrs. TurnbuU and 
Keys, in their Survey Account, complain that the wet crops under 
this work were annually ruined by elephants, though every effort 
was made to keep them awa}-. 

Dindigul, the head-quart '^i-s of i]\<^ division and t:duk, is the 
second largest town in the district, its popuhvtion numbering 25,182, 
of whom as n\any as n,17o arc Musalmans ^nearly all of tlieso are 
Kavutans) and 3,947 are Christians, 'llie place is a municipality 
and the station of a tahsildar, sub-magistrate, district munsif, sub- 
reo-istrar and bench of magistrates ; is a station on the railway (39 
miles north of Aladura) ; and possesses a poHce-station, upper 
secondary school, hospital, dispensary for women and children, 

232 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. travellesr' bungalow, local fund cliattram and a weekly Tamil 
DiNDiGi,!.. newspaper. Its medical and educational institutions liave been 

referred to in Chapters IX and X above, and its municipality and 

water-works in Chapter XIV. The Roman Catholic and American 
Missions liave established stations there and built large churches 
(tliat of the former body being an unusually imposing erection) 
and the Goanese Catholics and the Lutherans have smaller settle- 
ments. The town is a pleasant place picturesquely situated between 
the Palnis and the Sirumalais, and slopes up from the railway- 
station (which is itself as much as 924 feet above the sea) to the 
high ground on the nortli-west where the Sub-Collector's office 
and house, the district munsif's court, the American Mission 
compound, the hospital and other public buildings stand close 
to one another in an open and airy situation among fine trees 
and amid a climate which is considerably cooler and drier than 
that of Madura and perhaps than that of any other large town in 
the district. 

The industries of Dindigul include the manufacture of its 
widely -known cheroots ; the making of brass locks and safes and 
of brass and bell-metal vessels ; the collection (for export to 
Madras) of large quantities of hides and skins, which daily pollute 
the air along all the many roads leading into the town ; and the 
weaving of fine cloths by J^atntilkarans and coarser fabrics by 
Seniyans. There is also a considerable trade in the locally grown 
tobacco and in the products of the Palni hills, such as cardamoms, 
plantains and coffee. These matters have been referred to in more 
detailinChapter VI, and it is sufficient to note here that the town 
is in a flourishing condition and that its population increased by as 
much as 25 per cent, in the decade 1891-1901 and by no less than 
96 per cent, in the thirty years following 1871. 

Dindigul gets its name from, and in olden days owed its 
importance to, the great isolated, fortress-crowned rock which 
stands at its western end and dominates the whole of it. This is 
called the Tindu-kal, a word which is said by some (there are 
several rival etymologies) to mean ' pillow-rock,' from the supposed 
resemblance of the hill to a native pillow. It may be more 
justly likened to a huge wedge lying on its side. It is about 400 
yards long by 300 wide and lies with its tlnn end pointing north- 
eastwards. The top of the thicker, or south-western, end is 1,223 
feet above the sea and some 280 feet above the ground immedi- 
ately round it. The hill is almost absolutely bare of any kind of 
vegetation, and this gives it (in some lights) a particularly 
forbidding appearance. 



The fortifications, which are on the list of antiquities conserved CHAP. XV. 
by Government and are in excellent repair, enclose the w^hole of Dindigul. 
the upper part of it and are reached from lihe thin end of the wedge 
by a flight of 600 shallow steps cut on tne face of the bare rock 
there. At the top of this flight is the one and only gate into the 
fort, over which is inscribed, in Persian, the usual Musalman 
profession of faith and a prayer to the Almighty to guard the 
place from harm. The walls are of brick and stone and run round 
the crest of the whole of the rock except in one place at the thicker 
end which is so precipitous and overhanging as to render artificial 
protection unnecessary. 

The buildings within the enclosure so made are neither 
numerous nor remarkable. To the west of the main gate are a 
series of bombproof quarters with barrel roofs, sunk below the 
level of the walls and placed practically underground. In these, 
refractory poligars and other state prisoners used to be confined. 
Above them, in more exposed positions, are two brick erections 
with steeply pitched roofs which appear to have been magazines 
and are probably of British construction. Between these latter 
stand the ruins of a larger building which is said to have been 
the commanding-officer's quarters in the days of native rule, and 
just below them are some deep fissures in the rock which contain 
water in the driest season and one of which is popularly declared 
to be unfathomable. Lying near one of these pools, below a 
circular brick bastion containing the foundations of a flagstaff, 
are two old iron cannon. On the very top of the hill is a dilapidated, 
empty temple to Abhiramiamman which includes tliree separate 
shrines, is of no architectural interest, but contains an inscription of 
king Achyuta of Vijayanagar, dated 1538 A.D. 

In their memoir on the survey of the ' Province of Dindigul,^ 
Messrs. TurnbuU and Keys, who wrote in 1815-16 when the 
memory of such things was fresher, say that Tipu removed the 
image of Abhiramiamman to the town (where^ it still remains) so 
that spies might have no excuse for going through the fortress. 
They state that both the fortifications on the top of the rock and 
the works beneath it (see below) were originally built by Muttu 
Krishnappa Nayakkan of Madura (1602-09) ; that the upper fort 
was considerably improved in the modem style by Saiyad Sahib 
(see p. 70) when he was in charge of the country from 1784 to 
1790 ; and that it was thereafter ' entirely altered and systemati- 
cally strengthened ' in 1797-98 by the Company. Wilks confirms 
their account of Saiyad Sahib's share in the matter, and states 
that in the six years previous to 17c' the fort had been ' rebuilt 


234 MADURA. 

CH V.P. XV. with excellent masonrj, on a new line of defence, not in conformity 
DiNiJiaDi.. to the exact principles of European science, but with a better 
attention to flanking- defence.' 

In 1811, continues the Survey Account, the garrison and 
most of the guns and stores were removed owing to the great 
epidemic of fever which then swept through the district. In 1813, 
the fever having abated, the place was garrisoned afresh, fSOO or 
900 men being posted there, and it is said that there were troops 
in the place as late as 1860. At the time Messrs. Turnbull and 
Keys wrote, the lower fort on the south-east side of the rock was 
defended by a strong mud wall faced with stones and provided 
with eleven bastions and a deep dry ditch. Of all this nothing 
now remains except a shapeless earthen mound or two. There 
was one entrance to this lower fort, a gate near a small temple, 
the brick ruins of which are still standing. Between this and the 
rock are the remains of a two-storied brick and chunam building 
which was formerly the residence of Saiyad Sahib, but in 1815-16 
had been fitted out as a hospital. The sepoys were quartered in 
temporary barracks. Below the south-eastern corner of the rock 
was a ' garden house formerly the property of Colonel Cuppage ' 
and the remains of this still stand in a tope there. 

At the opposite end of the rock, facing the 600 steps already 
mentioned, is the old Protestant cemetery. Among the tombstones 
in it (which have aU been whitewmhed by some Yandal !) are those 
of Harriot Hurdis (1802), sister of the famous Collector of that 
name; Lieutenant Thomas Wilson (J 815), adjutant of one of 
the Native Eegiments stationed here ; Major John Lambe (1828) 
of the Honourable Company's service ; WiUiam Buckley (1834), 
ensign in another Native Regiment ; Robert Davidson (1841), 
Sub-Collector of Dindigul; and the Rev. William Ilickey (1870), 
a iiiissionary of the S.P.Gr. who was formerly well known in this 
town. Just north of the cemetery is the taluk cutcherry. 

South of the rock, near a small mosque and amid a pretty grove 
of tamarinds, stands a graceful, white, Musalman tomb, surrounded 
with a verandah supported by an arched colonnade, and ornamented 
with a dome and dwarf minarets. A Persian inscription in this 
shows that it is the grave of Amir-un-nissa Begam, wife of Mir 
Eazali Khan Bahadur, the ' Mir Sahib ' of history, who was 
husband of Haidar Ah's wife's sister and renter of the Dindigul 
country from 1772 to 1782 (see p. 70 above). Mir Sahib 
himself sleeps under the shadow of the great Gurramkonda rock 
in the Cuddapah district. The inscription gives the date of Amir- 
un-nissa's death as Hijra 1187, which began on 25th March 1773, 


and local tradition says she died in child-birth in Saiyad Sdhib'a CHAP. XV. 
residence above mentioned. There used to be an inain for the up- DiMnrouL. 
keep of the tomb, and the hamlet in which it stands is mainly 
inhabited by Eavutans and is known as Begampur. 

Between the fort rock and the town stretched, in days gone by, 
the parade-ground (still a pleasant, open maidan) and the town 
(or ' pettah ') was itself surrounded by a mud bulwark which has 
now vanished. The Survey Account says that — 

' There were three entrances into the Pettah, the one from 
Trichiuopoly, Oaroor and Niittum by the East Gate ; the other from 
Darapooram, Aravacoorehy and Pylny by the North Gate; and from 
Madura and Pereacolum, etc., by the :?oath. On this side of the Town 
the wall runs over two low rouks ; the lessor one to tlie E. stretches 
to the Nuttum avenue by Punnacolam, a small Tank of irriga- 
tion which is appropriated to the Hupi^ort of the Begiimpore Mosque 
. . . . The road leading fi-om the East Gate of the Town is on 
both sides enclosed by a few Gentlemen's Garden House.s, and by 
the North Gate stand the ruins of Dr. King's house, which was the 
finest building in its time, commanding a delightful view of the 
Town and the adjacent country for a few Miles. A road from it to 

the East leads to the Darogah's Cutcherry On the 

south of Moat pollium, a small village about four furlongs to the 
east of Dindigul, chiefly inhabited by herdsmen, are two fine Bunga- 
lows which are consigned for the residence and Cutcherry of the 
Collector, who resorts to Dindigul annually for forming the Jumma- 
bundy Assessment of th« Country. The head Cutcherry of the 
Tahsildar is held here, for wliich a fine building has been erected in 
the year 1804, on the East side of the village.' 

Of this wall and its three gates no traces now survive. Old 
people in the town remember them, however, and say that the East 
Gate was some 30 yards west of the west door of the American 
Church, and crossed the road by the big tamarind there ; that the 
North Gate was just east of the junction of the roads to Palni and 
Vedasandur ; and the South Gate not far from the Begam's tomb. 
'I'he ' Punnacolum ' (Pannaikulam ) is now called the Aramanai- 
kulam. ' Dr. King's house " stood just west of the present hospital, 
across the road, and a smaller house has been put up on the site of 
it. ' Moat pollium ' (Mettupalaiyam) is now known as Metturajak- 
kalpatti. The ' two fine bungalows ' were the Sub-Collector's old 
house (which stood within his present compound, but was con- 
demned in 1881 and replaced by his existing residence) and the 
bungalow immediately east of it, now unoccupied. North of the 
back gate of this, across the road, may still be seen the foundations 
of the tahsildar' s old cutcherry, built in 1804. 

236 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. Until tlie middle cf the eigliteentli century Dindigul fort 

DiNDiGUL. remained in tlie possession of tlie Ndyakkans of Madura. One of 
Taylor's Oriental Historical MSS. says tliat in the reign of Muttu 
Virappa Nayakkan (1609-22) one Mulikan came from Mysore and 
besieged it, but was driven off by the chief of Kannivadi and the 
eighteen poligars of Dindigul of whom he was the head. In the 
reign of Tirumala Nayakkan (1623-59) the Mysoreans again 
attacked the place and were once more repulsed, this time by 
Eamappayya, Tirumala's well-known general. 

In 1736 Chanda Sahib seized the territory of the N^yakkans 
(p. 58) and placed his brother Sadak Sahib in charge of Dindigul. 
In the constant wars which followed, the importance of the fort as 
a strategical point in the only pass between Coimbatore and Madura 
led to frequent changes in its possessors. 

During the troublous times which ensued upon the Mar^tha 
attack upon Chanda S^hib (p. 59) Eama Nayakkan, an insigni- 
ficant poligar of Uttamapalaiyam, surprised the place. ^ This was 
perhaps about 1741. Soon afterwards the Mysore Grovernment 
sent a force under Birki Venkata Eao into the country, and the 
officer then in charge of the fort, Mir Im&m UDa, gave it up t-o 
him without resistance (p. 69). 

In 1755 Venkatapja, the Mysorean officer in command of it, 
reported that the poligars round about were very obstreperous ; and 
Haidar AU was sent to bring them to their senses. He used 
Dindigul as his base. It was his first important command, and 
Wilks ^ thinks that ' this may, perhaps, be considered as the epoch 
at which the germ of that ambition began to unfold which 
terminated in his usurpation of the government of Mysore.' The 
extraordinary ease with which he quelled the poligars bas already 
(p. 70) been mentioned, and for some years afterwards he used 
Dindigul as a centre for his operations against the Madura country 
proper. In 1757 he sallied out from it, took Solavandan and plun- 
dered the country up to the walls of Madura ; but eventually he 
was forced back again by Muhammad Yusuf, Commandant of the 
Company's sepoys. In 1760 he marched out and attacked Vattila- 
gundu, but was driven home again by the same officer. 

In 1767 the place fell for the first time into English hands, the 
pettah being taken by Colonel Wood's detachment by escalade on 
the 3rd August and the fort surrendering the next day. The 
garrison placed there then was left without provisions, money, or 
iiiBtruotiona ; and in the next year it surrendered to Haidar again. 
' Wilks (MadiaB, 1869), i, 216. 


On 4tli May 1788 the place once more surrendered to the English CHAP. XV. 
(under Colonel Lang-), but was given back to Mysore in 1784 by Dindigdl. 
the treaty of Mangalore. Tipu Sultan came to Dindigul in 1 788 
to collect arrears of tribute due from the poligars, and sequestered 
many of their estates. 

In 1790, on the outbreak of the Second Mysore War, the for- 
tress was besieged by Colonel James Stuart, and, for the first time 
in its history, made a slight defence. The English had not enough 
guns nor sufficient ammunition. They silenced the fort's fire on the 
first day (20th August) and by the evening of the next had made 
a very indifferent breach. As their ammunition had by that time 
almost run out, Colonel Stuart determined to escalade, and an 
assault was made that evening. It was repulsed with loss (Ensign 
Davidson and six other Europeans being killed), but most of the 
garrison abandoned the fort during the night, and early the next 
morning the killadar in command of it capitulated. From that 
time forth, the place has remained in English hands. It was 
formally ceded to the Company by Tipu in the treaty of 1792. 

Emakkalapuram : A small village of 1 ,121 souls, lying about 
eight miles south-east of Dindigul near the iSirumalais. Formerly 
the capital of one of the 26 pdlaiyams comprised in the Dindigul 
province at the time of its cession to the Company. Family 
tradition' says that the original grantee of the estate was one Kama- 
lakkayya Nayudu, who (unlike the majority of his fellows in this 
district) came from South Arcot, where he was the headman of 
Devanarapatnam, a village now within the Cuddalore municipality. 
He won the good graces of the Vijayanagar king by taming a 
vicious charger which no one else could handle, was given Cudda- 
lore as a reward, afterwards accompanied Visvanatha Nayakkan 
(p. 41) on his victorious expedition into the Madura country 
and thereafter was put in charge of one of the 72 bastions of the 
Madura fort and given this palaiyam of Emakkalapuram. It was 
a small estate measuring about fifteen square miles, of which five 
were on the Sirumalais. 

Its chequered history up to the time when the British took tlie 
country has been given on pp. 70 and 183. In 1795 Mr. Wynch 
reported that the proj^erty, though small, was in first rate order — 
nearly all its arable land being cultivated ; and that its peshkash 
had been reduced from 550 chakrams to 450, which latter sura 
was all that it could afford to pay. About 1816, liowever, it was 
resumed for arrears and annexed to the adjoining sequestrated 

^ 8«9 M»okeDiie M9S., ii, 141-9, which gives a hiatoiy of the pilaijam. 

238 MADURA- 

CHAP. XV. estate of Madur. The existing- representative of tlie old poligar's 
DiNDiGUL. family still draws a small pension from Government. 

Eriyodu : Twelve miles north-north-east of Dindigul, popula- 
tion 2,266. Now decayed, but formerly the capital of one of the 
26 p^laiyams included in the Dindigul province. At the time 
of Haidar's expedition of 1755 the poligar promised to pay 70,000 
chakrams as the price of peace, but defaulted and had his estate 

The later history of the p^laiyam is referred to on pp. 70 and 
183. In 1795 it was reported to be a ' very fine p^laiyam contain- 
ing twelve villages' and the Survey Account of 1816 says it 
occupied 1 1 2 square miles of which 30 were hill country. Its owner 
set the Dindigul Committee of 1796 (p. 18o ) at defiance and then 
fled, leaving behind him an irrecoverable balance of 3,436 pagodas. 
On the 4th August 1796 Government ordered the estate to be 
forfeited. Thereafter, up to the fall of Seringapatam in 1799, a 
detached post of the Dindigul garrison, consisting of a company of 
sepoys under a British officer, was stationed in the place. 

Kannivadi : Lies ten miles nearly due west of Dindigul, close 
under the Palni Hills. It is the chief place in the zamindari of the 
same name, which is the largest in the district, pays more than 
twice as much peshkash as any other, and includes the whole of 
the eastern end of the Lower I'alnis The Survey Account of 1816 
says that in those days traces of old buildings and extensive forfi- 
fications showed that the village originally stood in the narrow 
valley about a mile to the west, then entirely deserted except by 
wild elephants, and that in Pannairaalaiyur, on the hills above it 
and approached by a difficult and fortified path, were the remains 
of buildings to which the zamindars used to flee when harried by 
the Mysoreans. 

The village is not interesting, but the estate has a long history. 
Until it was bought in a Court sale in 1900 by its present 
proprietors, the Commercial Bank of India, it was owned by a 
family of Tottiyan poligars whose traditions ^ go back five 
centuries. Like other chiefs of this caste, say these chronicles, the 
original ancestor of the family (with his two brothers, the first 
poligars of Yirupdkshi and Idaiyankottai) fled in the fifteenth 
century from the northern Deccan because the Musalmans there 
coveted his womenkind ; was saved from pursuit by two accommo- 
dating pongu trees on either side of an unfordable stream which 
bowed their heads together to make a bridge for him but stood 

' S«e the long acoount in the MackenBie MSS., iii, 417 ff. 


erect again as soon as he had passed ; and settled in this district. CHAP. XV. 
A descendant of his, Appaya Nayakkan, won the good graces of Dindigul. 
Visvanatha of Vijayanagar (p. 41), was granted this estate on 
the usual terms, cleared it of jungle and marauding Vedans and 
Kalians, and eventually was entrusted with the defence of one of 
the 72 bastions of the new Madura fort. A later scion of the line, 
Chinna Kattira N^yakkan, founded Kannivadi. One night (goes 
the story, which is still very popular) he saw the god of the 
Madura temple and his wife strolling in the woods. She lingered 
behind, and he called out to her ' Kanni vadi ! ' (meaning ' Come 
along, girl! '), and she replied ' Nallam pillai' (or, 'All right, 
dear.'). The poligar accordingly founded the Kannivadi and 
Nallampillai villages in commemoration of this unique experience. 
Another chief of the palaiyam was made head of the eighteen 
poligars of Dindigul who figure so frequently in the old tales as 
the defenders of this part of the country against incursions from 
Mysore, and he and his descendants accompanied the Nayakkan 
rulers of Madura on many of their various military expeditions. 

After the decline and fall of the Nayakkans, the Kannivadi 
poligar, like most of his fellows, aimed at semi-independence. In 
1755 (p. 70) Haidar Ali marched to bring them to order, but 
he was two months before he had cleared away the jungles 
and obstacles which surrounded the Kannivadi stronghold. At 
the end of that time the poligar promised to pay three lakhs of 
chakrams, and produced 70,000 of them on the spot. He was, 
however, eventually unable to find the remainder, and Haidar 
sequestrated his estate and sent him under arrest to Bangalore. 
The property was given back by the English in ] 783, resumed 
again for arrears by Tipu in 1788, and once more restored by the 
Company in 1790, when it formed one of the 26 palaiyams at that 
time comprised in the Dindigul country. The poligar appears 
to have misbehaved soon after, for he died in confinement in 
1793. The chief of Virup4kshi claimed his estate, but by 1795 
the property was back in the hands of the original family and was 
described as ' a very fine little district in capital order.' 

For many years thereafter it remained one of the fourteen 
' unsettled palaiyams ' already referred to on p. 194 which always 
paid the peshkash fixed by Air. Hurdis in 1802-03, even though 
this had not been declared permanent and though no sanads had 
been granted for them. In some ways, however, its case was an 
exception, for it happened to be under attachment for arrears in 
1817-18 when Mr. Eous Peter introduced his reductions in 
Mr. Hurdis' assessment rates, and these reductions were extended 
to it and prevailed until it was restored to the poligar's family (on 

!^40 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. his paying tlie arrears due on it) in 1842-43, and from then 
DiNDiGUL. onwards until 1862-63. By the latter year, the poligar was 
deeply in debt and was compelled to lease his property. In 1867, 
therefore, when Grovernment ordered (p. 195) that sanads should 
be granted to certain others of the unsettled palaiyams on their 
then existing peshkash, it was feared that to give Kannivadi a sanad 
would lead to the dismemberment of the heavily-involved estate, 
and for this and other reasons the case was held over to be further 
considered when the next occasion for appointing a new poligar 
should arise. The then proprietor died in 1881, but the estate was 
still much encumbered and the sanad was again withhold. In 1895 
the poligar borrowed some ten lakhs, on a mortgage of his estate, 
from the Commercial Bank of India ; and this institution eventually 
foreclosed, obtained a decree, and (there being no bidders) itself 
bought in the property at the Court auction in August 1900. In 
19U5, after considerable discussion, a permanent sanad for the 
zamindari was granted to the Bank on the same peshkash which 
had always been paid, namely, Ks. 38,080-9. The property is not 
scheduled as impartible and inalienable in the Madras Impartible 
Estates Act, 1904. 

Kuvakkapatti : Fifteen miles in a direct line nearly north 
of Dindigul ; population 1,262. Was formerly known as Palli- 
yappanayakkanur, and was the chief village of a small palaiyam 
of that name which was one of the 26 estates comprised in the 
Dindigul province at the time of its acquisition by the Company 
in 1 790. Palliyappa Ndyakkan was one of the first owners of this, 
and is stated in one of the Mackenzie MSS. to have built the mud 
fort the ruins of which still stand on the east of the village, and the 
temple and mantapam adjoining it. In Haidar's expedition of 
1755 the then poligar surrendered and promised to pay a fine. He 
broke his word, and Haidar resumed his estate. The later history 
of the property has been referred to on p. 183. After the 
Company obtained the Dindigul country, the poligar was again 
ousted for arrears and in 1795 he was reported not to live on his 
property and to be much to blame for his neglect of it. One of 
his descendants still draws a small allowance from Government 
and his residence enjoys the courtesy title of ' palace. ' 

Madur : Seven miles east of Dindigul, population 1,743. 
Formerly capital of one of the 26 palaiyams comprised in the 
Dindigul province. Its history up to the advent of the Company 
has been sketched on pp. 70 and 183. In 1795 Mr. Wynch 
reported that it was in bad order owing to the indebtedness of its 
owner, and it was resumed for arrears in 1796. The poligar then 


collected and armed soiuo peons and went about the estate annopng CHAP. XV, 
and intimidating- the ryots. The property escheated on failure of Dindigl-l. 
heirs in the same year. It was in a most neglected state, the fields 
being overrun with weeds and scrub. It suffered severely in the 
great fever epidemic of 1811 ' which swept away the greatest part 
of ' its inhabitants, and in I81l3 it was stated to be ' almost 
desolated.' East of the adjoining village of Ramanadapuram, on a 
low rock, is an ancient inscription which has long' remained 
nndeciphered. M.ll.Ry. V. Venkayya states that it records the 
building of a tank in the time of the Pandya king Maranjadaiyan, 
who perhaps belonged to the middle of the ninth century A.D. 

Marunuttu : Ten miles in a direct line south-east of Dindigul, 
population 512. Formerly the chief village of one of the 26 
palaiyams already several times referred to. The history of this 
in pre-British days has been given on pp. 70 and l83. In 1795 
it was reported to be a ' well ordered estate,' but in 1798 we find 
the poligar charged with murder and other crimes and fleeing 
from justice. Soon after, his property was forfeited, and in 1816 
Marunuttu village was said to be desolate except for a few 
Musalmans in a detached hamlet who .lived by trading with the 
people on the Sirumalais. 

Palakkanuttu (more usually spelt Palaganuth) is a village 
of 4,848 inhabitants in the Kannivadi zamindari 15 miles west of 
Dindigul on the Palni road, it contains a chattram, inscriptions in 
which show that the part reserved for Brdhmans was built in 1840 
from funds raised by Division Sheristadar Chintamani Venliata 
Rao, and the non-Brdhman portion in 1813 by the wife of the 
zamindar of Ayakkudi. The travellers' bungalow in the village is 
located in an old building with an arched roof, half of which is 
occupied by the police-station. Local tradition says that it was 
constructed by the Robert Davidson who was Sub-Collector of 
Dindigul from 1836 to 1837 and again from 1838 to 1841, died at 
that town in the last of these years, and lies buried in the ceme- 
tery at the foot of the fort rock there. 

Gold has long been, and is still, washed from the alluvium and 
sand of the red ground at the foot of both sides of the prominent 
hill two miles north by west of the travellers' bungalow. It is 
found in small particles and in such limited quantities that the 
people who search for it do not make more tlian they woii\i by 
manual labour of the ordinary kind. 

The Rev. C. F. Muzzy of the American Mission, who first 
drew public attention to the matter in 1856,^ suggested that if 

^ M.J.L.8., xTii, 101. 


342 IfADURA. 

CHAP. XV. moderately doep shafts were snnk the yield would probably be 
UiNniecL. greatly increased, but local report, says that this has since been tried 
bj more than one European without success. 

Sukkampatti : Two miles north of A ilur; population 2,439. 
Formerly the chief place of one of the 26 palaiyams of the Dindi- 
gul country. In 1755, during- Haidar's expedition against the 
owners of these ''p. 70), this poligar sent a body of troops to the 
help of the chief of Eriyodu, whom Haidar was attacking. These 
were cut to pieces, and the poligar was fined 30,000 chakrams for 
his audacity. As he did not pay the money, Haidar sequestered 
his estate. This was restored by the English in 1783, resumed 
again in 1785, given back once more by the Company in 1790, but 
again sequestrated for arrears in 1795, being then ' in the greatest 
disorder .' On this the poligar, like him of Madur, armed some 
peons and went about for some tiire harrying the ryots and pre- 
venting the collection of the Company's dues. The head of the 
family still receives a small pension from Government. 

Tadikkombu : About five miles north of Dindigul, population 
5,o01. The village once gave its name to the head-quarter taluk 
of the Dindigul province and the cutcherry was located there. It 
possesses a temple to Alagar (Sundarardja Perumdl) which con- 
tains the best sculpture in the taluk. Tlie work is of the later 
N4yakkan style and among the inscriptions in the building is a 
record dated 1029, in the time of Tirumala Nayakkan. The finest 
carving is in the mantapam before the goddess' shrine, which is 
supported by a series of big monolithic pillars about twelve feet 
high fashioned into verj elaborate and spirited representations 
of the incarnations of Vishnu and so on. Nearer the shrine is a 
smaller and more ordinary inner mantapam. The entrance to this 
is Hanked on either side by two notable pillars made of a handsome 
marbled stone and consisting of a central square column sur- 
rounded by eight graceful detached shafts all cut out of one 
stone and all of different designs. The roof of this smaller manta- 
pam has eaves quaintly fashioned to represent wooden rafters and 
tie-pieces, exactly similar — though smaller and less carefully 
executed — to the finer examples of the same artifice to be seen in 
the temple ai Tiruvadur (see p. 290). On the east facade of the 
main gopuram is another instance of the same unusual work, while 
lying about in the temple courtyard are stones which evidently 
once formed part of other eaves of this kind and are stated to 
have fallen from the deserted shrine in the south- west corner of 
this enclosure. 



Tavasimadai : Ei^yht miles soutli-east of Dindij^ul, close under CilAP. XY. 
the Sirumalais ; ]:)opalation 1,003. Once the capital of one of the Dindigul. 
26 palaiyanis of Dindig-ul, tlie liistory of which has been sketched 
on pp. 70 and 1 83 above. It was a very small property and in 
1795 was reported to be assessed at a merely nominal peslikash. 
In 1816 its whole population numbered only 312 souls. Its present 
inhabitants, like those of several adjoining- villages, are largely 
Eoman Catholics. Several burial-grounds of this sect are promi- 
nently placed on the wide margins of the road from Kanivaipatti 
to Dindigul. 

The poligar is a Tottiyan and his family traditions ' tell the 
same story of the advent of his forebears to this district as is re- 
counted by other poligars of that caste and has already (p. 106) 
been referred to. 

Tavasimadai means ' pool of penance, ' and tlie legend goes 
that the ancestor .of the family was doing penance by a pool when 
his family god ' Chotala ' appeared and told him to found this 
village and take his (the god's) name. 'All the poligars were 
thereafter called Chotala, and the village so prospered that one of 
its later owners was raised to the charge of one of the 72 bastions 
of Madura. The existing representative of the line draws a small 
pension from tiovernment. 

V^dasandur: A union of 7,301 inhabitants, lying twelve 
miles north of Dindigul. Station of a deputy tahsildar and a sub- 
registrar. Popular legends say that this part of the country was 
once inhabited by Vedans, a lawless set of people resembling the 
Kalians, and that the name of the village is a corruption of Veda- 
sandaiyur, the prefix being given it to distinguish it from several 
other places called Sandaiy^r. This last word means ' market 
village ' and Vedasandur still has the second largest weekly fair in 
the district. In days gone by it was probably even more busy than 
now, as it lay at the point of junction of the main roads to Palni 
and was one of the chief halting-plnces for pilgrims to the shrine 
there. Messrs. Turnbull and Keys give a grapliic description of 
the crowds wliich even then assembled in the village, the warmth 
of the welcome accorded them by the inhabitants (who hoped to 
derive indirect religious merit thereby) and the pomp and cir- 
cumstance with which the rich annual gifts to the Palni god sent 
in those days by the Eajas of Tanjore and Pudukkottai were 
escorted through tlie town in processions accompanied by 
music and dancing-girls. 

^ Maoken«ie M88., ii, 159-6G fcud Turubull and Ko)b' Survey Actount MS. 

244 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. The place contains tlie ruins of an old fort whicli in 1815 had 

DiNDiGi'L. ' a high cavalier in the centre, commanding a fine prospect of the 
surrounding country,' and inside which is now grown some of the 
best tobacco in the district ; and, just north-west of this, a darga 
said to be erected over the remains of Hazarat Saiyad Arab Abdur 
Eahim Auliah, concerning whom many fabulous stories are told 
but whose fame seems to be on the decline. 

0A2BTT&BR. 945 


The taluk of Kodaikanal, constituted (see. p. 206) in 1889, con- CHAP. XV 
sists of the Upper and Lower Palnis, of which some description K'odaikanai.. 
has already been given on pp. 3-6 above. The only place in it 
deserving of separate mention is — 

Kodaikanal : This sanitarium stands on the southern crest 
of the Upper Palni plateau, immediately above Periyakulam town. 
It averages about 7,000 feet above the sea, the Gr.T.S. at the 
Eoman Catholic church (one of the highest buildings in it) 
being 7,209 feet above the sea, and that at Tredis, the Uaja of 
Pudukkottai's house (one of the least elevated of its residences), 
being 6,8H2 feet. The travellers' bungalow at Periyakulam, five 
miles from the foat of the hills, is 932 feet above mean sea level. 

The European houses in Kodaikanal are mostly built round the 
sides of an irregular basin, roughly a mile and a half long by a 
mile wide, which is situated on the very edge of the precipitous 
southern side of the Palnis. From the top of the southern rim of 
this the plains are seen almost immediately below\ Its northern 
side is high and steep ; on the west it is also bounded by a ridge 
of considerable elevation ; but on the east the land falls rapidly 
away to the Low^er Palnis, and discloses fine views of that range 
and of the steep, square-topped peak of Perumdl hill (7,326 feet), 
rising head and shoulders above all his fellows. On the inner slope 
of the southern rim of the basin is a beautiful hanging wood wliich 
is called the Kodai-kanal, or 'forest of creepers,^ and gives its name 
to the place. The bottom of the basin was originally a swamp 
with a small stream wandering through it. In 1863 — at the 
suggestion, and largely at the expense, of Mr. (afterwards Sir 
Verej Levinge, then Collector of Madura — this was formed into a 
lake by banking up the stream. Down into this picturesque slieet 
of water, froiu the sides of the basin, run several beautiful wooded 
apurs on which stand some of the best houses in the place. They 
cause the lake to assume a shape something like that of a star-fish ; 
and thus, though nowhere much above half a mile across in a 
straight line, it is about three miles round, measured along the 
level road on its margin which follows its many indentations. 

Above this ' Lake Road,' round the greater part of the sides 
of the basin, are two other principal lines of communication — one 
^boot half w&y up the slopes and called the ' Middle Lake Road ' 


CHAP. XV. and another still higher up them and known as the ' Upper Lake 
Kodaikanai.. Road.' These three are connected by many cross roads. There 
are five chief routes out of tlie station. To the south-west a new 
road goes to the ' Pillar Roclcs ' referred to later ; to the west, a 
track runs past the Observatory to the hill village of F^umbarai, 
twelve miles away ; to the north a footpath leads through the 
'Tinnevelly settlement' to Vilpatti, a village perched among 
impossible precipices not far from a fine waterfall; to the east 
' Law's ghat' (begun in 1*^75 by Major G. V. Law, and already 
referred to on p. 155 above) winds down to 'Neutral Saddle' 
at the foot of Perumal hill, the natural boundary between the 
Upper and Lower Palnis ; and to the south is the only practicable 
route from Kodaikanai to the plains, a steep bridle-path twelve 
miles long which passes by the small hamlet of Shembaganur 
directly below the station and then zigzags down precipitous slopes 
to the travellers' bungalow at ' Kistnama Nayak's tope ' at the 
foot of the hills. 

At .Shembaganur (properly Champakanur, or ' magnolia 
village') is a Jesuit theological college, a prominent object from 
the bridle-path. It is built on land which was acquired by the 
Jesuit Mission at various dates from 1878 onwards with the idea 
of forming a great agricultural and industrial school on these 
hills. Cinchona planting and other agricultural enterprises were 
tried and failed, and eventually the idea was abandoned. In 1886 
a bungalow was built on part of the land ; and in 1895 the erection 
of this college was sanctioned by the mission authorities. It now 
contains 50 students (20 of whom are French) who undergo a 
varied course of tuition, lasting seven years, to fit them for work 
in the various Jesuit missions in India and Ceylon. Kistnama 
Nayak's tope (usually called ' the Tope ' for short) is said to have 
been planted by, and named after, a relation of one of the ministers 
of the Nayakkan kings of Madura who fled to Periyakulam after 
the downfall of that dynasty. His descendants were village 
munsifs of Vadakarai continuously up to as late as 1870. 

A cart-road goes from the Tope to Periyakulam (five miles) 
and thence to the nearest railway-station, Ammayanayakkanur, 28 
miles further east. Visitors to Kodaikanai perform the 83 miles 
from the station to the Tope in bullock-transits, and thence walk, 
ride, or are carried in chairs, up the bridle-path. AU luggage, 
supplies and necessaries have to be transported up this latter by 
coolies, and great are the delays and inconveniences. The pro- 
posed Yaigai valley railway from Dindigul to the head of the 
Kambam valley, and the Attur ghdt road (both referred to in 



* Rainfall 

. of wet 

in inches. 









;'. 75 














August .. 


















Chapter VII abovo) will, it is hoped, remove in part what is at CHAP. XV. 
present the greatest drawback to the ?anitarinni — its difficulty of Kolaikanal. 

In point of climate, Kodaikanal is considered by many of its 

admirers to rival Ootaca- 
mund. Tlie rainfall, accord- 
ing- to the fig-nres of fifteon 
years,* is g-reater than that 
of Ootacamnnd, but most of 
it is received during- the 
north-east monsoon wlien the 
visitors are absent, instead 
of with the south-west cur- 
rent of June, July and 
Aug-ust, as at Ootacaniund. 
The mean humidity and the 
mean daily range of toinjiera- 
ture are smaller at Kodai- 
kanal than in its rival, and 
the cold in the wet months 
is less bleak and searching-. The soil is also so g-ravelly that roads 
and tonnis courts quicklj dry again after a shower. The place 
moreover possesses the advantag-os that its native bazaar (and its 
cemetery; are not situated within tlio basin of the lake and in sig-ht 
of the residents, and that it commands a view over the ]ilains 
which is comforting to thos^^ who ag-ree with Lucretius that it is 
sweet to watch, from a safe spot, om^'s neighbour in distress. 
Kodaikanal, however, is shut off from the beautiful wild land to 
the westward by two successive high ridges beyond which few of 
its inhabitants over p('notrat(\ 

In this wild country, and also nearer Kodaikanal, are very 
many prehistoric kistvaons and dolmens. The first mention of 
those on the western, or Travancore, si<le occurs in tho survey 
memoir of Jjieutenant Wanl referred to below, and an account 
of some of thp others will be found in the able illustrated article 
entitled 'Dolmens ot croml'v^hs dans les Palnis," ^ by tlie 
Rev. H. Hosten, s.J., of Kurseong (Bengal) who visited 8heni- 
baganur in 1902, and has very kindly furnislied not(»s of his 
discoveries. The examples he examined lay cliieHy to the south- 
■west of Perumal hill (especially along Gen(M-al Fischer's old trace 
towards A^ilpatti) an<l at T^alamalai. Others are indei>endently 

' Ch. BuleuB, Bruxelles, Kue Terre-J'f ute 75, 
18W, 46-71. 

l9l»o. i5*?e aisu J.A.S.13., 

348 MADUtlA. 

CHAP. XV. reported to exist at Machur, Pannaikadn, Tandikkudi, Kamanur 
KoDAiKANAL. and Paclialur in the Lower Palnis. DouLtless there are many more. 
These monuments present peculiarities not noticed elsewhere. 
Erected by preference on a level outcrop of rock, each group of 
dolmens (box-shaped constructions open at one side and made of 
roughly-dressed slabs of stone) is usually enclosed by rectangular 
(more rarely, circular) walls made of similar slabs set upright in 
the ground; the dolmens themselves are larger than usual, an 
average specimen being found to measure 8 feet by 3 feet and its 
cap-stone 11 feet by 6 feet; they are sometimes arranged in 
double parallel rows ; to prevent the heavy 'cap-stone from crush- 
ing its supports, the space between the several dolmens in each 
group, and between them and the enclosing walls, is filled in to a 
height of some three feet with rubble and earth ; embedded in 
this rubble occur stone receptacles, without tops, made of four 
upright slabs arranged in the form of a square, with a fifth for 
flooring, and measuring some 3 feet each way and 5 feet in height ; 
and some of the groups are surrounded, outside the enclosing wall 
of slabs, by small heaps of stone (about 2|- feet square and 1 foot 
high) placed at regular intervals in the form of a square. Searches 
within these remains resulted in the discovery of little beyond 
small fragments of red and black pottery of five or six different 
patterns (already observed elsewhere and figured in Mr. Bruce 
Foote's catalogue of the prehistorics at the Madras Museum) and 
a rust-eaten sickle identical in shape with those found in some of 
the Nilgiri cairns. No bones were found, nor any cup-marks, 
swastika designs, inscriptions or sculptures of any kind. 

Besides these dolmens, kistvaens (constructions walled in on 
all four sides and floored and roofed with slabs) occur ; at Palamalai 
was found, buried in the ground and unconnected with any other 
remains, a large pyriform urn containing two small shallow vases ; 
and in several places are low circles of earth and stones, which 
may perhaps have been threshing-floors or cattle-kraals. 

Hound about Kodaikanal are several popular ' sights.' Many 
rapturous descriptions of all of them are on record and it is 
unnecessary to add to the list. They include at least three water- 
falls within easy reach ; namely, the ' Silver Cascade ' on Law's 
ghat, foiiaed by the Parappar stream (into which runs the rivulet 
issuing from the lake) ; the ' Glen Falls ' on a branch of the 
Parappar, alongside the path running northwards to Vilpatti ; and 
the ' Fairy Falls ' on the Pambar (' snake river') to the south-west 
of the station. ' Coaker's Walk ' (named after a Lieutenant in the 
Royal Engineers who was on duty in the district from 1870 to 



1872 and made tlie 1870 map of Kodaikanal) runs along the very CHAP, XV, 
brink of tlie steep southern side of the basin and commands Kodaikanal. 
wonderful views of the plains below. On clear days, it is said, ~ 

even Madura, 47 miles away as the crow flies, can be made out 
from here. The ' Pillar Rocks ' are three huge masses of granite, 
perhaps 400 feet high, which stand on the edge of the same side 
of the plateau three miles further on. Between and below them 
are several caves and chasms, and from the top of them is 
obtained a superb view of the Aggamalai, the precipitous sides of 
the Kambam valley and the plains below. Here (and from 
Coaker's Walk) the '.spectre of the IJrocken ' is occasionally seeu 
on the mists which drive up from below. ' Doctor's Delight,' a 
bold bluff about two miles further on, commands a panorama 
which is claimed to be even finer than that from the Pillar Hocks. 
' Fort Hamilton, ' 9^ miles from Kodaikanal and on this same 
southern side of the plateau, is so named after the Major Douglas 
Hamilton of the 2 1st N.I. who was obligingly permitted by 
Sir Charles "^Frevelyan's Government to spend part of 1859 and 
(after an interval of service in Oiina) twelve months in 1861-62, 
all on full pay, in making the series of large sketches of the Palni 
Hills which are still to be seen in public and official libraries, and 
in writing the two short reports on the range which were printed 
in Madras in 1862 and 1864, respectively. There is no ' fort' at 
the place ; only a small hut. Its chief interest lies in the evidences 
which are visible near by, and were first brought to notice by 
Major Hamilton, of the former existence there of a great lake. 
No record or even tradition regarding the formation of this 
survives. Judging from the traces of its water-line which still 
remain, it must have been nearly five miles long, from a quarter 
to three-quarters of a mile wide and from 30 to 70 feet deep. 
It was apparently formed by the side of a hill slipping down into 
a valley which rims northwards to the Amaravati river, and 
damming up the stream which ran at the bottom of it. This 
stream seems to have eventually cut its way through the huge 
natural embankment so formed, and thus emptied the lake it had 
itself once filled. The dam is about 200 yards long and the breach 
in it is now about 100 yards across and 90 feet deep. Major Hamil- 
ton (see the later of his two reports above mentioned) wrote with 
much enthusiasm of the possibilities of this spot as a site for a 
sanitarium or cantonment, but it would be most difficult of 
approach. This latter objection, it may here be noted in paren- 
thesis, is also the answer to the many critics who have railed at 
the founders of Kodaikanal for having placed it where it stands 



CHAP. XY. instead of in one or other of tlie many (otherwise) superior sites 
KoDAiKANAL. wliicli doubtloss exist on the Upper Palni plateau. When the 
place was originated, the most practicable path up the hills was 
the existing bridle-road from Periyakulam, and the first arrivals 
naturally wished to settle as close as might be to the top 
of this. 

The first European who visited the plateau and left any record 
of his journey was Lieutenant B. S. Ward, who surveyed the Palnis 
in 1821. His diary shows that he came up from Periyakulam by 
way of Vellagavi (a small hamlet on the slopes which is said 
to have been fortified as a haven of refuge by the former 
poligars of Vadakarai), cam]3ed on the 25th May just above the 
falls of the Pambar which face the present bridle-path, and went 
through the Kodaikanal basin. He makes no special mention of 
this last An extract from his memoir on the Palni and Travan • 
core HiLls (' the Vurragherry and Kunnundaven Mountains,' as 
he called them), which has never otherwise been printed, was 
published by [Robert Wight, the well-known botanist, in the 
M.J.L.S. of October 1837 (Vol. YI). 

In 1831 Messrs. J. C. Wroughton (then Sub- Collector) and 
C. E.. Cotton (Judge of the Provincial Court, Southern Division) 
went up from Periyakulam to Shembaganiir (their visit led to some 
slight repairs being done to the bridle-path), but Wight himself 
was the next European visitor to the range who has left any record 
of his journey. His account appears in Vol. V (pp. 280-7) of 
the M.J.L.S. He went up in September 1836, apparently by 
the steep gh4t from Devadanapatti to the Adukkam pass near the 
peak of that name. He mentions Shembaganiir but not the 
Kodaikanal basin. His report on tlie botany of the range has 
already been referred to on p. 15. 

The first people to build houses at Kodaikanal were the 
American missionaries of Madura. In lSo8 so many of them had 
been compelled to take sick leave and go to Jaffna (their then 
centre) that the mission actually proposed to purchase a special 
vessel to carry the invalids and the convalescents backwards and 
forwards. This idea was eventually abandoned in favour of the 
suggestion that a sanitarium should be established on the Sirumalais, 
that range being chosen on account of its propinquity to Madura. 
Two bungalows were built there, but their occupants suffered so 
much from fever that in January 1845 the Palnis were examined 
as an alternative site and in June of the same year two bungalows 
were begun at the foot of the Kodai-kanal, near the spot on which 
* Sunnyside ' now stands, and were finished in October. 


Not long afterwards, Mr. John Blackburnc, Collector of CHAP. XV. 
Madura between 1834 and 1847 and the man who had done so Kodaikanal, 
much for the improvement of the revenue system on these hills 
(see p. 20b), built himself a bungalow about five miles away (see the 
survey map of 1890) at the top of the Adukkam Pass. This came 
t<5 an untimely end, being burnt down by the first fire which was 
lighted in it, but its foundations can still be traced. In 1848-49 
Mr. Thomas Clarke (then Sub-Collector and the author of an 
excellent report on the Palnis, dated May 185'3), Mr. C. R. Baynes 
(the District Judge) and Mr. R. D. Parker (Blackburne's successor) 
all built themselves bungalows on the high ground just south of 
the Kodai-kanal, on the strip of cliff overlooking the plains which 
runs from ' Parabar House ' to ' Roseneath.' Plans of the place 
in official records show that Parker's house was built where 
Pambar House now stands ; Baynes' was on the site of the 
building next east of this which is now owned by the Roman 
Catholic Mission; and Clarke's was the nucleus of Roseneath. In 
this latter Bishop Caldwell lived for many years and it was there 
that he died. Soon afterwards, Captain W. H. Horsely, the ' Civil 
Engineer,' erected a fourth bungalow between Baynes' and Clarke's, 
and the American Mission began the house now called ' Claverack.' 
About 1852 a Major J. M. Partridge of the Bombay Army came 
up and pitched tents at the bottom of the lake basin. Tempestuous 
weather soon drove him to erect some better shelter, and he put 
up a rough bungalow on the spot now called, in consequence, 
' Bombay Shola.' He had one of the earliest gardens in the 
station and is credited with being the first to introduce blue-gums 
into it. Of two huge gums which formerly stood near his house, 
one still survives and is the biggest in tlie place. He at one time 
proposed to import artisans for the benefit of the community, and 
the records show that there was at least one ' shop ' near his 

The above individuals were the pioneers ; their seven houses 
were the only ones in the place in 1853, and even by 1861 only 
three more had been l>nilt. By 1854 Us. 4,500 had been spent 
on, or sanctioned for. tlip Ijridle-path, but it was apparently still 
in wretched order. A mile of road liad also been cut througli the 
Kodai-kanal by tlie missionaries and six uiorc niiles had been made 
elsewhere by other residents. Much correspondence took place 
regarding tlie terms on wliichtho Governuiontslionld grant the land 
on which the houses stood, it was finally ordered that tlie rules for 
the Nilgiris should be applied and an annual cliarge of Rs. 5-4-0 bo 
made for the first kani (1"32 acres) occupied, and Rs. 2-8-U for 

'^52 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. every additional kani. Eventually, most of the original grants 

KoDAiKANAi-. were converted into freeholds. At present, it may here be noted, 

the rules in Board's Standing Order No. 21 apply to the grant of 

sites within the settlement and the sanction of Government is 

necessary to the sale of them. 

The first Governor of Madras to visit Kodaikanal — as the place 
now began to be named in official correspondence — was Sir Charles 
Trevelyan, who went up early in 1860 by the bridle-path from the 
Tope. More suo, he wrote a delightful ' minute ' recording his 
impressions of the hiLls. He stayed at Roseneath, which was 
still Mr. Clarke's property.^ Lord Napier also went up later on, 
in 1871, and tradition says that ' Napier Villa ' owes its name to 
the fact that he stopped there. 

In 18<'0 Mr. Vere Henry Levinge was appointed Collector of 
Madura. He held the post untU 1867 and then retired to Kodai- 
kanal, where he lived (at Panibar Plouse) until within a few wceka 
of his death at Madras in 1885. During this latter period he 
succeeded to tlie family baronetcy. Both as Collector and after 
his retirement he took the greatest interest in the station and, 
as the inscription on the cross erected to liis memory just above 
Coaker's Walk relates, most of the improvements in it are due to 
him. As has already been stated, he made the lake (mainly at his 
own expense) and he also completed the bridle-path from Feriya- 
kulam, cut the path to Bambadi Shola along the southern crest 
of the plateau, constructed several roads within the station itself 
and did much to introduce European fruits and flowers. 

Neither time nor space permit of the inclusion here of any 
history of the growth of the sanitarium from that time forth to the 
present, but the subject is one which may be commended to the 
notice of those who have greater knowledge and opportunities. 
A few isolated facts may, however, be noted. In 1853 the 
American Mission had begun to build a church on their land near 
' Sunnyside.' It was finished in 1856 and an arrangement was 
made by which the members of the Churcli of England should also 
have the use of it. Kound about it, a cemetery (now closedj was 
made. The earhest tomb in this, no doubt, is that of two children 
who died as early as 1849, but their bodies were removed to the 
cemetery from the grave near Mount Nebo in which they were 
originally buried. The church was replaced in 1896 by the new 
building near the Club, and shortly afterwards it fell down. 

^ For this and other items of interest, I am indebted to the Kev. J. E. Tracy'i 
rtcollections of Kodaikanal in former d&ye. 


In 1863 Father Saint Cyr (who was the first of the Homan CirAI'. XV. 
Catholic missionaries to appreciate Kodaikanal, and in 1860 had Kopaikanal- 
bought Baynes' bungalow for his mission) laid the foundations of 
the existing Eoman Catholic churcli. Tlie site for the Cliurch of 
England place of worship on Moimt Nebo was granted to Bishop 
Caldwell in 1883. In the same year an estimate was sanctioned 
for the building of the deputy tahsildar's office. In 1900 the 
new European cemetery nr^ar the ghat patli from Shembaganur, 
the first thing which catches the eye of the visitor as he approaches 
this health resort, was finished. It is divided into sections for tlie 
use of the various denominations. 

In October 1899 Kodaikanal, which was originally merely a 
part of the village of Vilpatti and aft*^rwards had been made into a 
Union, was constituted a municipality. It is the least populous 
of all the Madras municipalities, its inhabitants at the 1901 
census numbering only 1,91?. This enumeration, however, was 
taken in March, before the influx of tbe hot weather visitors (a 
large proportion of whom belong to tlie various Christian missions 
in this and other districts) and their numerous following. The 
council's annual income averages only some Rs. 9,000, and no very 
striking undertakings have therefore been possible. The fate of 
the proposal to supply the place with water from the Pambar lias 
been referred to on p. 227. 

Some two miles from the station, on a hill above tlie road to 
Pumbarai already mentioned, is the Observatory. Under tlie 
scheme for the re-organization of Indian observatories which came 
into operation in 1899, the chief work of the Madras Observatory 
was transferred to this place (which was found to be preferable to 
either Ootacamund or Kottagiri on account of its more equable 
temperature and greater freedom from mists) and the former 
Government Astronomer, Mr. Michie Smith, became Director of 
the Kodaikanal and Madras Observatories. Tlie appliances of the 
new institution are now directed to the prosecution of enquiry in 
the sciences of terrestrial ir.agnetism, meteorology and seismolocry, 
to astronomical observations for the purpose of time-keeping, and, 
chiefly, to the important subject of solar physics. 

354 MADURA. 


CH.\P. XV. This talnk was! formerly called after the village of Madakkulam, 
Mapuka. which is about four miles west of Madura. It lies in the centre of 
the south-eastern side of the district and is the smallest of all 
the taluks. It is an almost featureless plain, drained by the Vaigai. 
The only hills of note are the southernmost extremity of the Naga- 
malai and the isolated Skandamalai at Tirupparankunram. The 
soil is mostly of the red ferruginous variety, but there are some 
black cotton- soil areas in the south along the Tirumangalam 
border. The most fertile part is tlaat along the banks of the 

Madura receives more rain than most of the other taluks and 
also benefits very largely from the Periyar water. Consequently 
paddy occupies nearly two-thirds of the total cultivated area, 
cocoanut groves are numerous, and the taluk is better protected from 
adverse seasons than any other. This was not so before the advent 
of the Periyar irrigation, however, and in the 1876-78 famine it 
suffered severely. 

Statistics about the taluk will }>e found in the separate Appendix. 
The density of the population is very much higher than the average 
for the district, but this is largely due to the presence within it of 
Madura town. 

The more noteworthy places in it are the following : — 

Anaimalai (' elephant hill '): A most striking mass of perfectly 
naked, solid rock, about two miles long, a quarter of a mile wide 
and perhaps 250 feet high, which runs from north-east to south- 
west nearly parallel to the Madura-Melur road from the fifth mile- 
stone from Madura. It consists of grey and pale pink banded 
micaceous granite gneiss of coarse texture and complicated 
stratigraphy. The sides are almost sheer and the top rounded, and 
at its south-western end it terminates in a bold bluff ; so that — 
especially from the Madura side — it bears a very fair resemblance 
to an elephant lying down. Whence its name. The Madura 
sfhaki piirdna goes further and says it is in fact a petrified 
elephant. The Jains of Conjeeveram, says this chronicle, tried to 
convert the Saivite people of Madura to the Jain faith. Finding 
the task difficult, they had recourse to magic. They dug a great 
pit ten miles long, performed a sacrifice therein and thus caused a 


liupfe eleplmnt to arise from it. This beast they sent against CHAP. XT. 
Madura. It advanced towards the town, sliaking- the wliole earth ; Mat.ur.^. 
at everv step, with the Jains marching close behind it. Rut the 
Pandya king invoked the aid of Siva, and the god arose and slew 
the elephant with his arrow at the spot where it now lies petrified. 

At the foot of this A.naimalai, about the middle of its northern 
side and surrounded by a few chattrams and a lotus-covered tank, is 
a temple to Narasinga Peruindl, of which the inner shrine is cut 
out of the solid rock of the hill. In front of this stands a long 
iiiantapam and the piijari declines to allow Europeans even to look 
into this, much less to see the entrance to the shrine. Tlie latter is 
said to measure about six feet in every direction and to liave in 
front of it two pillars similarly cut out of the solid rock. Round 
about the entrance to it, on the rock, are Tamil and Vatteluttu 
inscriptions, one of which is dated in the thirty-third year of the 
Chola king Parantaka I (906-46 A.I)., the 'conqueror of ]\[adura,' 
see p. 31) and is the only record of his as yet discovered in the 
vicinity of Madura.^ The long mantapam is a much more recent 

A few yards south-west of this temple, hidden away in a peace- 
ful spot among tlie trees which cluster round the foot of the great 
bare hill, is another shrine cut out of the solid rock. It is deserted 
and consists of an inner recess some 3|- feet by 6\ feet in which are 
figures of Vishnu (bearing a chank shell) and his wife; an outer 
porch about 20 feet long, 8| feet high and 9 feet wide supjiorted 
on two square pillars with chamfered corners and ornamented with 
the conventional lotus - ; and, outside this again, a small ])latform 
approached on either side by a flight of half a dozen steps. Within 
the porch are four figures, two of which apparently represent 
devotees bringing flowers, and other lesser sculptures. The whole 
thing — the shrine with its two deities, the porch and its pillar.s and 
sculptures, and the two flights of steps — are all cut out of the solid 
rock. It lias been called a Jain shrine, but there seems to be 
nothing Jain about it. 

Still further south-west, however, near the top of the ]>rominent 
little wooded spur which runs down from the hill, are undoubted 
relics of the Jains in the shape of sculptures of the tirthankaras on 
a big boulder. The boulder must have crashed down from tlie 
rock above, and now rests so poised on one of its corners that its 
overhanging portions form a sort of natural cave. Tli^re are signs 
that this recess was formerly improved into a dwelling (probably 

' Go%'Crnmenc Epigiapliist's reijort for lOO-i-Uu, pp. 4, 40, 50. 

* Compare tlio rock-cut slirine at Dalavanur, South Argot Gattttetr, j). 846. 

36(5 MADUBA. 

CHAP. XV. by Jain hermits) by the erection of rude walls, and the spot was 
Madura, chosen with taste, for in front of it is a flat rock platform which 
commands the most beautiful view across the green fields, past 
Madura and its temple towers and palace, away to the Sirumalais 
and the Palnis iu the far distance. The Jains had an eye for 
the picturesque.^ On two sides of the great boulder above men- 
tioned, and well out of reach of mischievous herd-boys, are the Jain 
sculptures. On the northern side is represented a single tirthan- 
kara, seated; on the southern, a series of eight others, all quite 
nude, some standing and some seated, some with the sacred 
triple crown above their heads, and some surrounded also by 
attendant figures bearing chdtnaras and other objects. One is a 
female figure, seated. The series occupies a space perhaps ten 
feet long by two high. Under it are eight inscriptions in Tamil 
and Vatteluttu which give the names, either of the figures, or of 
the villages which were commanded to protect them. Round some 
of them have been painted backgrounds in elaborate design, and 
the villagers now worship them as representations of ' the seven 
Kanniraar ' (the virgin goddesses so dear to the Tamil lower 
classes) and call the spot the Kannimdr-kOvil. 

The Anairaalai may be climbed from the western end. About 
half way up it, are some of the sleeping-places cut out of the rock 
which are usually called Pancha Pdndava padukkai, or ' beds of 
the five Pandavas' (see p. 76); and, further on, a pool which 
always contains water and is called Anaikannu or ' the elephant's 
eye,' a big cave in which a tiger is averred to have lived for a long 
while, and a small teppakulam- 

Anuppanadi: Two miles south-east of Mprdura; population 
3,770, Buried in a piece of waste ground to the east of the village 
are a number of pyriform earthenwaie tombs, consisting of jars 
with detachable lids. They appear abo\ e the ground singly and 
in groups and vary considerably in size. One dug up by Mr. Rea 
(whose detailed report upon them is printed in G.O., No. 16(33, 
Public, dated I6th December 1^87) measured 1 foot 2| inches in 
diameter by 1 foot 7 inches deep, while others were as much as 3 
feet 6 inches in diameter. Some of them are made of a coarse, 
red earthenware and others of thin, glazed, black and red ware. 
In them were found human bones and numbers of smaller vessels. 
The latter are often glazed, and the glaze is peculiar, being neither 
hard nor brittle, and rather resembling a polish than a true glaze. 

' Compare their hermitages at -^doni and Rayadrug, Bellanj Qazetteer, 
PI). 198, 301, 



Similar tombs exist in some numbers near Kulasekliarankottai CHAP. XV. 
in Nilakkottai taluk and at Paravai, five miles nortli-west of Madura Madura. 
near the Vaigai. In some of those at the latter place which were 
opened by Mr. Uea a quantity of peculiar beads were found. 
Some of these were of a reddish, semi-transparent material, marked 
with milky streaks ; others were greenish in hue ; others of white 
crystal; and most of them bore designs in white inlay, lines 
having been chased on them and filled in with white enamel. 

Kodimangalam : flight miles north-west of Madura, between 
the Nagamalai and the Vaigai; population 1,581. The Siva 
temple here contains several inscriptions, but when it was restored 
some years back the stones on which they were cut were misplaced, 
and they are not easy to decipher. On the slope of the Nagamalai 
opposite this village is a sacred stream flowing out of a cow's 
mouth cut in stone into a small masonry reservoir. Round about 
are a mantapam or two and some carved slabs. The spot is 
picturesque and is faced by a fine tope, and on Adi Amavasya day 
(the new moon day in July- August) many people gather there. 

The part of the Ndgamalai near the adjoining village of 
Melakkal contains several remarkable caves. The best (^f them 
(known as the Vira pudavu) is on the west side of a point in the 
range which rises above the general level. Entering the mouth of 
this, one descends about 50 feet with the aid of a rope and comes 
upon two openings. The eastern of these does not go far, but that 
on the west runs for perhaps a quarter of a mile into the hill. 
Lights are required and souie crawling has to be done. At the 
very end is found on the rock a pale watery paste which hardens 
quickly on exposure to the outer air. Native druggists declare 
that it has wonderful curative properties. 

About three-quarters of a mile further along the range to the 
north-west is the sinaMerpuli pudavu, or ' tiger cave,' and a quarter 
of a mile further on again is the ' hyi^na cave.' 

Madura, the capital of the taluk and district, is the largest 
mufassal town in the Presidency, its inhabitants numbering 
105,984 in 1901. They then included 3,750 Christians (291 of 
whom were Europeans, Americans or Eurasians) and as many as 
9,122 Muhammadans, but practically all the rest were Hindus and a 
large proportion of these last were Brahmans. The population 
has more than doubled in the last 30 years, for it numbered only 
51,987 at the census of 1871, rose to 73,807 in 1881 and to 
87,248 in 1891. 

Being the chief place in the district, Madura is the head- 
quarters of all the usual othcers. It stands on the main line 


'.^58 MADUtlA. 

CHAP. XV. of tlie South Indian Railway 345 miles from Madras, and from 
Mapura. it runs the branch line to Mandapam which is being extended to 
the island of Ramesvaram and may one day pass across to Ceylon. 
It possesses a travellers' bungalow, rooms for Europeans at the 
railway-station, and many chattrams for natives. The chief of 
these last is that opposite the station which was founded and 
endowed from funds left by Queen Mangammdil and is still called 
oy her name. It has already been referred to on p. 157. 

The history of the town is bound up with that of the district, 
and has already been sketched in Chapter II. The Christian 
missions in it are referred to in Chapter III ; its arts, industries 
and trade in Chapter VI (some account of the Patnulkarans who 
do so much of the weaving is given in Chapter III) ; its medical 
and educational institutions (including the ancient Sangams) are 
mentioned in Chapters TX and X respectively ; the jail in Chapter 
XIII ; and the municipal council and the waterworks in Chapter 
XIV. It is enough to add here that the town is the industrial, 
educational and religious centre of the district. 

Madura stands on the right bank of the Vaigai. In the 
neighbourhood rise three small but prominent hiUs, which are 
called the Anaimalai, Pasumalai and Nagamalai from their sup- 
posed resemblance to an elephant, a cow and a snake respectively, 
and which are severally referred to on pp. 254, 278 and 7. 
It lies low and the ground rises away from it on all sides but the 
south. The Gr.T.S. on the south gopuram of the great Minakshi 
temple referred to later is 4*^4 feet above the sea, but this tower 
is itself some i 50 feet above the ground, and the town is thus only 
about 330 feet above sea-level. It is further hedged about with 
many plantations of cocoanut palms and other trees and is thus a 
hot and relaxing place. Statistics of its temperature have already 
been given on p. 13 above. 

It consists (see the map attached) of three main parts — the 
crowded native town built on and around the site of its old fort 
referred to below, a series of European bungalows in large com- 
pounds (and many smaller houses) lining both sides of the road 
which runs south-eastwards to the beautiful Vandiy^r Teppa- 
kuliun and thence to Ramnad, and the new quarter which has 
recently been established for the residences of officials on the old 
race-course on the other (north) side of the river. This last is 
connected with the other two by a bridge over the Vaigai which 
was completed in 1889 and has been referred to above on p. 156. 
The view up the river from this is one of the most charming in 
the district. It is framed on either side by the tall towers of the 

^ ■• 

I. Mangammal's Chattram 

2. Post Office 

3. Railway Hospital 

4. West Market 
Telegraph Office 
Municipal Hospital 
Maternity Hospital 
Perumal Tennple 
Protestant Church 
Edward Park 
Collector's Office 
Minakshi Temple 

13. "Mangammal's Palace"*' 

14. Elephant Stone 
Municipal Market 
Blackburne's Lamp 
East Gate Church 
American Mission Compound 
R. C. Church 
Police Head Quarters Office 



Reg: No. 8869 
Copies. 500 


Exec. Engr's bungalow,.-: ri- ^/i' 

_.\\-t:---'-r,"' Q.Dist~ "Forest Officer's bungalow 

./^Police Superintendent's bungalow 

C //"O U R S e'.'iV^* 
' 'Sengulam 

rtirjTiru mala Nayakkan's Palace 

Former Judges' bungalow^Kij' 

Teppakulam bungalow | 


♦H To Mandapam 

Chains 10 5 

Scale of Miles 

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Chains or I Mile 

Photo-Print. Survey Office, Madras. 

aAZBTTlBR, 250 

great temple and the palms leaning forward over the stream ; in CHAT'. X\ 
the foreground stand the little stone Maya mantapam to whicli the MAl)UK^ 
image of Siva is taken at the great Chittrai feast mentioned later, 
and a crowd of gaily-dressed people bathing or washing freshly- 
dyed cloths ; further off carts pass slowly across the old causeway 
and a temple elephant placidly takes his morning bath ; while 
in the ultimate background rises the dim blue sky-line of the 
Palni hills. 

Of the old bungalows along the Kamnad road little that is 
reliable has been gathered. The history of the European Club 
(which possesses a racquet-court and swimming-bath) is referred 
to on p. 172. The house in the compound of which stands 
the famous banyan tree (shading an area 60 yards in diameter 
and possessing a main stem 70 feet in circumference) belongs to a 
branch of the family of the Haja of Eamnad and was for very 
many years the residence of the Collector of the district and, 
afterwards, of a series of its Judges. The bungalow facing the 
Teppakulam was similarly occupied by a series of Collectors 
and Judges. It now belongs to the Raja of Ramnad, who 
bought it from the Lessees of Sivaganga. They in their turn 
obtained it from the family of Mr. Robert Fischer of Madura, 
to whom it was given by Rani Kattama Ndchiyar of Sivaganga in 
recognition of services performed in the famous civil suit about 
the possession of that zamindari which was fought as far as the 
Privy Council. Who originally built it is not clear. Its 
swimming-bath ' is shown by a tablet therein to have been con- 
structed in 1 8 1 4 by Rous Peter, Collector of the district from 
1812 to 1828, and official records show that he built at least 
a part of the house. 'I 'he newer south wing was added by Mr. Gr. F. 
Fischer, father of Mr. Robert Fischer. 

Rous Peter is the best remembered of all the old Collectors of 
Madura, and vernacular ballads are still sung in his honour. He 
lived in princely style, was of a most bountiful disposition (both the 
Minakshi temple and the Alagarkovil possess valuable jewels 
which he gave them) and did great things in ridding the hiUs 
round Kannivddi, Periyakulam and Bodinayakkanur (compare 
p. 315) of the elephants which in those days infested them and 
the country below them. I'he people nicknamed him ' Peter 
Pandya.' He died in Madura on 6th August 1828 and was 
buried in the heart of tlie town outside the tlien Protestant 
church. This had been put up the year before ^ (largely at 
his expense) to replace a small building which had been erected 

^ Tha Ghurth in Atadraa, by Rev. F. Penny (Smith, Elder. 1904), 667 ff. 

260 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. by public subscription about 1800 — ' a very plain structure,' 
Madura. according to Ward's Survey Account. In 1874 it was pulled 

down and tbe present St. George's Churcli (consecrated in 1881) 

was constructed on the site— from designs by Mr. Chisbolm tbe 
well-known Grovemment Architect — by Mr. Robert Fischer 
and bis sister Mrs. Foulkes in memory of tbeir father Mr. Greorge 
Frederick Fischer who died in I8t)7 and is buried beside Rous 
Peter. The new church was so built as to enclose the two graves, 
and these now lie behind the altar. The European cemetery 
proper is near the railway-station and contains tombstones to many 
soldiers and civilians of the early days of the Company's rule. 

The wildest stories about Eous Peter's end are current in 
Madura and it has been stated in print that he was charged with 
defalcations and, when a Commissioner came down to make 
enquiries, committed suicide. Official records ' tell a different tale. 
It appears that he kept his own money and Government's mixed 
together in a manner which Account Codes have now rendered 
impossible, and sent to his treasury whenever he wanted any cash. 
In 1819, nine years before his death, he realised that he had 
drawn more in this way than he was entitled to, and made cut a 
memorandum, the envelope of which was marked ' not to be opened 
till my death,' admittiug this fact and his carelessness, protesting 
before God his freedom from any dishonest intent, promising to 
take steps to mend matters, and making over to Government on 
his demise such part of his property as might ^be sufficient to 
make up any deficit which should then appear. His method of 
endeavouring to replace the missing money was to give his cash- 
keeper large sums out of the treasury with instructions to trade 
with it and apply the profits towards meeting the deficiency ! 

He was ill for a week before his death and his Assistant Col- 
lector was apparently with him when he died. The next day the 
Judge, in taking over his papers officially, came upon the memo- 
randum mentioned above, and the enquiries which resulted 
disclosed a deficit in the treasury of Es. 7,79,000. How much of 
this Eous Peter had himself spent, could never be ascertained ; 
but much of it wus shown to have been embezzled by the treasury 
officials, who had taken every advantage of their Collector's 
casual ways. Five of these individuals were sentenced to 
imprisonment — some of them to five years in irons. Rous Peter's 
estate was confiscated. It was worth between seventy thousand 
«knd a lakh of rupees, and included jewels valued at Es. 10,000, 

^ E.M.C. of August and September 1828 and lubRequent papers. 

ajMETTBBB. 261 

plate to about the same amount, ' innumerable ' pictures, and CHAP. XV. 
many guns and rifles. maduba. 

On the other side of the Vaigai, the first European houses 
reached are ' Fletcher's bungalow ' and the ' Vadakarai (' north 
bank ') bungalow/ both standing close to the head of the bridge. 
The former was built by the Court of Wards from the funds of the 
Sivaganga estate for the gentleman whose name it still bears, who 
was tutor to the then minor zamindar — the last of the ' usurper ' 
zamindars who were ousted by the decision in the great suit 
already mentioned. It is at present the District Board's office. 
The latter is known to the nnti\ es as ' Cherry's bungalow ' and 
occupies the site of a smaller house put up by the officer of that 
name who was 'Register of the Zillah' in 18U9 and subsequent 
years and acted once as Judge in 1810, It passed afterwards to 
the Sivaganga estate, and the high wall which encloses it was 
built by the zamindar mentioned above when he resided there 
with the ladies of his famil}'. 

Further north, on higher, gravelly gi'ouud, are the new 
bungalows which have been erected for the kludge, Executive 
Engineer, District Medical and Sanitary Officer, Forest Officer 
and Superintendent of Police. The idea of moving the residences 
of these officers from their former uosatisfaciory positions on the 
other side of the river originated with Colonel Kilgour, Super- 
intendent of Police, in 1895 and in the same year Groverumcnt — 
one of the Members of which was then Sir Henry Bliss, a former 
Collector of the district — approved the proposal. Sufficient land 
was acquired round about the site to prevent any future incursion 
of native huts, and the five houses were finished by 1902. 

It was at first proposed that a residence should also be built 
in the vicinity for the Collector, in place of the inconvenient (if 
interesting) native building called the Tamakamin which he now 
lives. But eventually it was decided^ to add to that building 
instead of abandoning it, to construct to the south of it new 
quarters for the Collector's office and its various branches and for 
the tahsildar, in place of the badly arranged native buildings in 
the town now occupied by them, and to erect a new block near 
the race course for the district and other civil courts which are 
at present held in the town in Tirumala Nayakkan's palace 
referred to below. Madura has thus an unrivalled opportunity of 
laying out a new official quarter, and it only remains to ensure 

» G.Os., No8. 102, Educational, dated llfch February 190*, and 456, Public, 
dated 24th Jane 1905. 

263 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. that this 18 not invaded by the usual bazaars and huts. Work on 
Madura. the Tamakam has already been begun. 

Tamakamu (or Tamagamu) is a Telugu word, and means ' 
a summer-house, or building having a roof supported on pillars 
but no walls. The oldest part of the Tamakam, the present 
drawing-room, is just such a building. It is constructed on the 
top of a square mound of earth (about fifteen feet high and faced 
outside with stone) and its roof is a masonry dome 21^ feet across 
supported on the crowns of crenulated arches sprung on to square 
pillars, and surrounded by three other rows of pillars with similar 
arching arranged in the form of a square and supporting separate 
small truncated I'oofs. Its existing walls are clearly a later 
addition. The ceiling of the dome is of painted chunam, is exactly 
similar in design to several of those in Tirumala Ndyakkan's 
palace, and represents an inverted lotus blossom. Who oi'iginally 
constructed this room is not known. Tradition assigns it 
impartially to both 'L'irumala Nayakkan and Queen Mangammdl, 
but since these two personages are popularly credited with almost 
every other undertaking in and about Madura, this goes for little. 
Rumour also says that it was built as a kind of grand stand from 
wliich gladiatorial exhibitions and the like might be witnessed. 

It is not until the beginning of the last century that official 
records throw any light on the history of the Tamakam. In a 
letter to the Court of Directors, dated London, 2nd June 1826, 
Sir Alexander Johnston (late Chief Justice of Ceylon, etc. — see 
Dictionary of Nniional Biography) stated that in 1782 his father, 
Mr. Samuel Johnston, Paymaster at Madura, finding his house 
in Madura fort very unhealthy, asked the Nawab of Arcot, then 
sovereign of the country, to let hira have the Tamakam as a 
residence. The building is referred to in the records as ' an old 
choultry ' and as ' the choultry called Fort Defiance,' the latter 
name being apparently due to the fact ^ that it had been an outpost 
in the siege of Madura in 1764 referred to on p. &Q, Sir 
Alexander said that when this application was made, the place 
' had been deserted upwards of a century and was ... in 
so desolate and so ruinous a state as to be of no value whatever' 
and that the Nawab accordingly made his father a present of it. 
Mr. Johnston spent five or six thousand pagodas in clearing the 
jungle round the building and turning it into a habitation, and 
lived there with his family till his transfer to Trichinopoly in 

* C. P. Brown's Telugu-English Dictionary, citing the Dipika, a, Teluga 
dictionary of ]816. 

* Yibart'i Hiit. of Madras Sngineors (W. H. Alien, 1881), 84. 


1787, While he was there the heart of the great Montrose, which CHAP. XV. 
was in his keeping, was stolen by Maravan burglars for the sake Madura. 
of the silver casket in which it was enshrined.^ In a subsequent * 
letter to the Directors, Sir Alexander added that it had been 
the intention of his parents and of iiis ' early instructor Colonel 
Mackenzie (the well-known collector of the ' Mackenzie MSS.'), 
under whose scientific advice it was laid out,^ to turn the build- 
ing into a place where natives might be instructed in European 
arts, sciences and literature, and that among tlie Mackenzie MSS. 
were two drawings of it, ' the one made by the Colonel before, 
and the other after, he had repaired and laid out the house for 
Mr. Johnston.'' These drawings would have thrown much light 
on the interesting question of the extent to which the Tama- 
kam is indebted to Native and European architects respectively, 
but they are not to be found among the Mackenzie MSS. either 
in Madras or at the India Ojffice. 

When Mr. Johnston was transferred he allowed liis friend and 
successor P^dr. Vaughan to occupy the building, which was then 
commonly known as ' John.^ton House.' In 1791 he went to 
England, where he soon afterwards died without making any 
disposition of the property. 

In 1802 Mr. Hurdis, then (Collector, obtained from the 
Company a grant of the building and the land on which it stood. 
His application describes the former as ' an old choultry on the 
top of which Mr. Hurdis is building three sleeping rooms. The 
body of the choultry in good repair, but the upper part one entire 
ruin.' In 1806 he sold the property to Government for 2,650 

In 1826 in the letter already cited, and again in 1834, Sir 
Alexander Johnston claimed that the place was his mother's 
property and not Government's (since Mr. Hurdis had no title) 
and stated that he wished to recover it to carry out tlie educational 
scJieme above indicated. The correspondence which ensued ^ 
shows that the building had been used siuce its purchase by 
Government ' as a Court House either for the Judge or Register ' 
and that two bungalows for the Sadr Amins and a small jail (which 
was afterwards used as a hen-house and the site of which is now 
occupied by the Union Club) had been built near it. In 18o8 
the courts were moved to Tirumala Ndyakkan's palace and in 

' For unimpeanliable evidence of this curious fact, see Mr. J. D. Roes' To\i,r» 
in India, 188G-90 (Madras Govcrnnieufc Press, 1891), p. fi;}. 

* Latter to th« Sooretarj at the India Hoaso, No. 350, dated 9th Februarj 

264 MADUBl. 

CHAP. XV. 1 857 the sub-judges were reported to have lived rent-free in the 
Maduka. house for many years. One of them, Mr. Phillips, had ' added a 
^ room ' to it. In 1859 they were requii'edto pay a rent of Es. 42. 
In 1864 the District Judge was there. 

The Directors' reply (dated 31st August 1839) to Sir Alexan- 
der's claim to the house was that, without admitting his title as a 
matter of right, they were prepared to make it over to him' for 
the purpose of its being converted into a place for native 
education.' No action was however tak^n on this until 1871, 
when Sir Alexander's son, Mr. P. F. Campbell- Johnston, suggested 
that the rent of the building might be applied to endowing a 
scholarship. Government agreed, and a deed of conveyance and 
trust was drawn up founding the existing ' Johnston of Carnsalloch 
scholarships.' These at first consisted of the rent received for the 
building less the amount expended in keeping it in repair, but the 
present arrangement is that as i'ar as possible the annual payment 
to the University of Madras of Es. 480 for the maintenance of 
the endowment shall be regarded as a first charge on the rent 
received . 

Thereafter the building was occupied for short periods by 
different officers and then remained empty for many years. The 
Government proposed to insist on the Judge living there, and when 
Lord Napier vi.'^ited Madura in 1871 he gave personal instructions 
regarding alterations in it, Mr. Chisholm's estimates for which 
amounted to Es. 22,000. But the Judge protested so strongly 
against being obliged to reside across the Vaigai that nothing was 
done. In 1877 the place was put in order and occupied for a year 
by the District Engineer. Mr. C. S. Crole (1882 to le86) was 
apparently the first Collector to reside in it and since then his 
successors have always lived there. As has been stated, it is most 
inconveniently arranged and until the bridge over the Yaigai 
was built its situation was equally unfortunate, as when there were 
floods in the river the Collector's letters and papers had to be sent 
to him on one of the temple elephants. 

Immediately west of the Tamakam is the People's Park, a 
piece of fenced and planted ground about 7U acres in extent. It 
w^as formed in 1883 through the elibrts of Mr. Crole with subscrip- 
tions received from the Nattukottai Chettis and some of the 
zamindars and wealthy natives of the district, and was handed over 
to the municipahty, in whose name patta for it now stands. It 
was formally opened by Lord Dufferin when he visited Madura in 
December 1886. The part of it immediately to the north-east of 

S O r REG N0.88G 

isoeV coprES.500 

rXr^X or MAIMTR^ in 1757. 

6 . Jbri'n^. 

r>uf JTr^ir^, 


the Tainakam was set aside from tlie outset for agricuUnral expori- fUAP. XV. 
ir.onts 'ind.'M- a Farm Committee, vrhicli em]iloyer| a trained agrienl- MinrRx, 
tnrist and erect(>d sundry Luildinfrs. This Lody effected littU> of 
note and in 1890 it lianded over ilio land and Ijuihlinrrs fo tlie 
District Board to serve as an agricultural Lranch of the Teclinical 
institute. The soil is wretched and tlie scheme was a failure, and 
in 1900 the Board gave Lack the property to the council. In 1S04 
this latter lent it without charge to the Board for five years for the 
use of the Veterinary dispensary which is now located there. 
Tlie Union Club for native gentlemen, just west of the Tamakara 
compound, was founded under Mr. Crole's auspices in 18S3. The 
land was granted on patta in that year and the building was 
completed in 1884. 

Just west of the main gate of the People's Park is the hamlet 
of Goripalaiyam in which is the most revered mosque in the town. 
In this are two tombs which are traditionally stated to be those of 
a king named AUa-ud-din and of his brother Shams-ud-din. It is 
not clear who these personages were. A. long Tamil inscription on 
a pillar within the building (dated 1574-75 and confirming a grant 
to the institution of six villages originally given it by one of the 
P^ndyan kings) calls the place the ' mosque of the Delhi Orukol 
Sultan,' but this expression is obscure. Ihe cliief peculiarity of 
the building is that its domed roof — which is as much as 22 feet 
from base to apex and 69 feet in circumference — is (or is declared 
to be) made of one single block of stone. It is so covered with 
whitewash that proof of the assertion is difficult of attainment. 

Eeturning across the river, one re-enters the native town. This 
(see the map above) is laid out on an unusual plan, all the main 
streets running roughly parallel with the walls of the great temple 
which stands in the centre of it. Thus there is a North Mdsi street 
(so called because the god used to be taken through it in the month 
of Mdsi, February- March) and also^a South, East^ and West, Mdsi 
street. Similarly there are four Avani streets rather nearer the 
temple, four Chittrai streets just outside it and four A.di streets 
within its walls. The history of the town has already been sketched 
in Chapter IT, where will be found (p. 64) some account of the 
fortifications which formerly defended it. A comparison of the 
attached map of the place in 1757 ^ with the plan of it as it stands 
to-day wiU show better than any verbal description the original 
position and extent of these defences. It will be noticed that tlie 
number of the bastions was 72, and the inference is that little 
radical change had been effected since the time when Yisvandtha 

' Taken from Carubritlge's War in India. 


266 MADURA. 

OnAP. XV. Nayalckan (see p. 42) first built the fort in 1559. The walls were 
jrAiurA. roughly rectangular and again ran parallel to those of the temple. 
At the four points of the compass, and at the angle next the river, 
wore gates througli the ramparts. A picture in the possession of 
Mr. Robert Fischer of Madura — copied from one in the India Office 
and representing the town of Madura from the south-east at the 
time of a siege by some British force (probably the attack of 
1763-64) — gives some idea of the appearance of the walls. They 
were faced with stone and crowned with a loop-holed parapet of 
red brick, and closely resembled those still standing at Alagarkovil. 
Outside them was a ditch and broad glacis. 

They remained in existence until the middle of the last century 
and are chiefly responsible for the present crowded state of the 
town and the absence in it of any open spaces worth the name. In 
1837 Mr. John Blackburne, the then Collector, proposed to Govern- 
ment that, to improve the health of the place, the ramparts should 
be thrown into the ditch and the ground levelled by convict labour. 
This was agreed to, but so many of the convicts were then engaged 
in cutting the Pamban channel that work went on very slowly. 
In 1841, therefore, Mr. Blackburne obtained sanction to a different 
method of procedure. He marked off the rampart, ditch and 
glacis into sections, and sold these by auction on condition that 
the purchasers lowered the glacis, threw the ramparts into the 
ditch (reserving their stone facing for Government) and built the 
new houses in regular lines and with tiled roofs. In doing this 
he arranged that each section of land should as far as jDossible be 
sold to people of the same or allied castes. Thereafter work 
proceeded briskly, and soon the town was surrounded with three 
new sets of four streets, all again roughly parallel with the temple 
walls, which were called respectively the Yelividi (' outside street ') , 
the North, South, East and West Marrett streets (after the then 
Assistant Revenue Surveyor) and tlie North, South, East and 
West Perumal Maistry streets, after the foreman of works. Black- 
burne had written to Government that he intended to form ' a 
handsome boulevard ' out of the new ground. Doubtless his new 
streets were handsomer and wider than any others in the place, but 
he lost a great opportunity of making a really fine boulevard all 
round the town which might have done something to provide it 
with the open spaces it still so badly needs. 

Nothing now remains of the old fort except the west gateway 
and guard-rooms, in and over which the present maternity hospital 
is built. The gate itself has been blocked up and the building 
otherwise greatly altered, but three or four of the old embrasures 
for cannon are still left. Much of the stone taken from the 





Reg: No.3l2a 
Copies 332 

Photo-prlnU*urvey Office, Madras. 


ramparts was used for strengthening the causeway across the CIIAP. XV. 
Vaigai. The stone figure of an elephant which now faces this was Madura. 
brought from the palace and set up in its present position as a 
memorial of Blackljurne's work ; and with the same intent the 
' Blackburne lamp ' was erected near the site of the old east gate 
of the fort. The inscription on this says that it was put up ' by a 
grateful people, ' but the numerous petitions complaining of his 
proceedings when he effected these improvements had much to do 
with the suspension which subsequently was his lot. He was 
eventually restored to his post, but never forgave the authorities. 

Troops were stationed in the town for several years after tlie 
fort Wiis demolishe.l. Ttiey lived ia temporary barracks put up 
on the site of the existing lines of the Police Eeserve and it is 
said that the masonry powder-magazine there was originally 
built for them. 

It remains to refer to the three buildings for which Madura 
is so widely known ; namely, the great temple, the tank called 
the Teppakulam and the palace of Tirumala Nayakkan. 

The temple, as already stated, stands in the centre of the 
town. Except the inner shrines, probably none of it is older 
than the si.Kteenth century. The origiual building of the days 
of the Pandya kings was almost entirely destroyed (see p. 38) 
by the Musalman troops of Malik Kafur in the invasion of lolO. 
The eastern gopuram bears an inscription purporting to be of 
Pdndya times, but the script is modern. The inner shrines are 
mentioned by Manikya-Yachakar (see p. 290), who is thought to 
have lived in the fifth century of the present era, and even by 
Tamil poets who have been assigned much earlier dates. These 
latter call the temple Velliamhalam, 'the hall of silver' — 
probably in contradistinction to Ponnambalam, ' the hall of gold,' 
the name given to the shrine at Chidambaram. The attached 
plan of the existing building gives a clearer idea of its general 
arrangement than could be conveyed by any description. It 
will be seen that — excluding from consideration for the present 
the Piidn niantapam and Udya gopuram referred to later — it is 
constructed on the system usual with the larger Dravidiau 
temples. Four high stone walls, in the middle of each of which 
is a gateway surmounted by pyramidal go/niranis, enclose a 
nearly rectangular space about S^jO feet hy 7 lit) feot within which 
is a labyrinth of store-house?, cloisters, mantapanis and lesser 
shrines and the sacred tank, and, in the centre, surrounded by 
other walls with more gateways and towers, the inner shrines of 
the god and goddess. The god is Siva in his form Sokkandtha 

268 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV, or Sundara, ' tlie beautiful,' and the goddess, liis wife, is Minakslii, 
.aial>ura. ' tlie fish-cjed.' The legend regarding tliom in the local sthrila 
purdna says that she was tlie daughter of a Pandya king wlio, 
to the consternation of her parents, was born with three breasts. 
A fairy, however, told the king that the third breast woald 
disappear as soon as she met her future husband ; and it did so 
when she first encountered Siva. They were wedded accordingly 
with much pomp. It has been suggested that Minakshi may 
have been a local Dravidian goddess whom the Biahman immi- 
grants found to be too dear to the hearts of the people of the 
country to be ousted by any of tlieir Aryan deities, and that her 
marriage to Siva was a method adopted to reconcile and unite 
the old faith and the new. 

Round about the temple, outside the high outer walls, ia a 
neat garden fenced in with iron railings which was laid out in the 
eighties at the suggestion of Mr. Crole to replace the heaps of 
rubbish which then occupied this space. The gopm^ams are of the 
ordinarj^ pattern, the lowest storey consisting of sculptured stone 
and the upper ones of brickwoi-k profusely ornamented with 
figures made of brightly painted plastor and representing the 
more popular of the deities, personages and events met with in 
the Hiudu sacred books. They are unusually lofty and are a 
landmark for miles round. All of them have been repaired of 
late years at great cost by the Nattukottai Chettis who have 
spent such large sums in the restoration of the Saivite temples 
of this Presidency. The highest of them is the south gopuram, 
tlie top of which is about 150 feet above the street below it. 
The northern tower used to consist only of the brick and stone- 
work storeys and was known in consequence as the mottai (literally 
' bald ') gopuram. Recently, however, a courageous Chetti who 
cared nothing for the superstition that it is most unlucky to 
complete a building thus left unfinished, placed the usual plaster 
top upon it. 

Visitors generally enter the temple by the Ashta Sakti mantapam 
(' porch of the eight saktis,' so called from the images of these 
goddesses which form part of the pillars inside it) which (see the 
plan) juts out from the eastern wall. It is noticeable that the 
lloor of this is considerably lower thau the street. The level of 
Madura has been mucli raised in the course of ages. When 
foundatiuns for new buildings are dug, debris is always met with. 
In tlio case of St. George's Church this went down as deep as 
fourteen feet. At the further end of the mantapam is a doorway 
on cither side of which are images, blackened with frequent 


oblations, of Ganesa (the elephant-licadcd son of Siva) and CUAP. XV, 
Subralimanya, his brother, in his form Slianmuga, the six-faced. Madura. 
Passing- through the doorway one enters the mantapam of 
Miaaksiii Niiyakkan, who is said to have been one of the ministers 
of Tiramala Nayakkan. This is supported on six rows of tall 
carved pillars, each of which consists of a single stone. 'J he outer • 
parts of it are used as stables for the temple elephants and the 
rest is packed with shops and stalls where all kinds of commodities 
are sold. Both here and in the Pw/u mantapxm these shops so crowd 
the building as to cloak its architectural beauties, but the temple 
cash-chest is the richer by some Es. 17,000 annually from tlie 
rents they pay, and the mtinaging body are consequently unwill- 
ing to tarn them cut. At the further end of tlie mantapam is a 
doorway surrounded with a brass frame covered with scores oi 
small oil lamps. These are lighted daily from the income derived 
from certain villages which a former zamindar of Wivaganga 
presented to the temple for this purpose. Eeyond it is the 
Mudali Pillai mantapam, which is usually known as ' the dark 
mantapam ' and is upheld hy various large stone figures executed 
with great spirit. 

Passing through this one reaches ' the golden lily tank,' of the 
religious efficacy of a bath in which so many stories arc told. It 
is surrounded by a pillared colonnade from one auspicious corner of 
which the golden tops of the roofs of the two inner shrines can be 
seen. Its walls were formerly covered with frescoes. These 
gradually became obliterated by damp and age and were painted 
out, but parts of the walls have been newly decorated with 
representations of events from the sacred writings, such as the 64 
miracles which Siva is said to have worked in and about Madura. 
On the western side of the tank is the little chapel of queen 
Mangammal which has already been referred to on p. 55 above. 

Next this is the Kiltkaiii (' parrot ') mantapam, so called 
from the screaming caged parrots which are kept in it. It is 
upheld by pillars formed of excellent statues — each cut out of a 
single great block of granite — of ydlis and of the five Pandava 
brothers. These latter would be more appropriate in a Vaishnava 
temple than in one dedicated to Siva, and tradition says that they 
were brought from a shrine to Kariyamanikka Perumal which 
formerly stood immediately south-west of the Cliinna mottai 
gupnram but was demoli^niod. Leading out of this mantapam 
is Minakshi's shrine, within wliicli are several smaller diapels to 
Subralimanya and Vighnesvara. Passing northwards, the visitor 
goes towards Si\a's shrine through a gateway under the NacluJiattv 

270 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. (' iniddlo ') gapuram. Facing this is an image of Ganapati 
Madura. (Pillaiyar) whicli is said (see Lelow, p. 274) to have been dug up in 
the great Teppakulani. 

Siva's shrine contains several subsidiary buildings which it i? 
not necessary to particularise, a stump which is said to be all that 
now remains of the legendary forest of ]cada7nba trees which is 
supposed to have formerly covered all this part of the country, 
and a series of statues of the Af'uvattmnvar, or 63 Saivite saints. 
In it are kept the temple jewels, which include a pendant for the 
god given by a Pdndyan king, a head-dress studded with pearls 
and rubies presented by Tirumala Ndyakkan and a pair of golden 
stirrups which were the gift of Kous I'eter — a thank-offering, goes 
the story, for an escape from an elephant he had wounded. In the 
covered colonnade surrounding the shrine are little chapels sacred 
to the Sangattdr, or members of the Third Sangam referred to on 
p. 174, to the nine planets and to the poet-saint Tirugnana Sam- 
bandhar whose exploits are mentioned on p. 297. In one corner 
of it (see the plan) is the Mantapanayakka mantapam or ' king 
mantapam among mantapam s.^ It in no way now deserves this 
high-sounding name, as it is quite eclipsed by the kambattadi 
{' foot of the flagstaff ') mantapam which adjoins it and surrounds 
the gilded flagstaff which directly faces the entrance to Siva's 
shrine. This building was put up in the seventies by the Nattu- 
kottai Chettis and is supported by high monolithic pilLars perhaps 
more elaborately chiseUed than anything in the building. Behind 
the flagstaff are four huge images of Siva dancing, of the fearsome 
goddess Kali and of Virabhadra in two different shapes, which are 
again cut out of single blocks of stone. They are done with great 
spirit and their numerous limbs and elaborate oruaments and 
attributes make them probably the greatest triumph of technical 
skill in stone-cutting to be found within the temple walls. East- 
ward of these images is the great Viravasantaraya mantapam 
which is said to have been built by Tirumala Nayakkan's 
predecessor on the Madura throne, Muttu Virappa (1609-23). It 
is supported on pillars cut from single blocks of granite and is 
roofed with long slabs of stone. South of it is the Kalyana 
(' marriage ') mantapam. This has been restored by the Chettis 
and contains too much varnished woodwork^ to be pleasing to 
European taste. In it is conducted the marriage of the god and 
goddess at the time of the great annual Chittrai festival. 

North of the Viravasantaraya mantapam is the ' Thousand- 
pillared mantapam.' Two shrines built within it reduce the 
actual number of pillars (all of which are monoliths) to 985, but 


Fergusson ^ considers that ' it is not their nurnhf r but their marvel- CHAP. XV. 
lous elaboration that makes it the wonder of the place ' and declares ^^ai^ura- 
that tlie ' sculptures surpass those of any other liall of its class I 
am acquainted with.' It is supposed to liave been built by the 
Arya Natlia Mudali referred to on p. 42, and an equestrian statue 
of him flanks one side of the steps leading up to it. Jf this legend 
is correct, it is (next to the central shrines) the oldest part of the 

Passing thi'ough the gateway is the eastern tower, and crossing 
the street, one enters the Pudu {' new ') mantapam, otherwise 
called ' Tirumala Nayakkan's clioultry.' It was built by the ruler 
whose name it bears (who reigned between 1623 and 1659) as a 
summer retreat for the god, and, being formerly surrounded by 
a narrow stone water-course designed to cool the air in it, is some- 
times called the Vasanta {' spring ') mriniapam . It consists (see 
the plan) of a rectangular porch 333 feet long and 1 05 feet wide 
(measured on the stylobate) roofed with long slabs of granite 
which are supported by four parallel rows of 124 sculptured stone 
pillars about 20 feet high. These pillars are all most richly 
sculptured and all different in design. Some of them are 
ornamented with rearing ydlis, while those near the middle 
of the centre aisle are decorated with life-size figures of Tirumala 
Nayakkan (with his wives) and liis predecessors. At one end 
is a porcli made of polished black granite. The facjade is adorned 
with more i/dlis or with groups, all cut out of a single block of 
granite, representing a warrior seated on a rearing horse the fore 
feet of which are supported by the shields of foot-soldiers slaying 
tigers or men. ' As works exhibiting difficulties overcome by 
patient labour/ says Fergusson, ' they are unrivalled, so far as 
I know, by anything found elsewhere.' The whole building is 
perhaps the most remarkable of its kind in south India, but the 
effect of it is at present sadly marred by the shops and stalls with 
which the whole centre aisle is crowded. 

East of it is the unfinished' Rd>/a gopuram {' Ving tower') 
which Tirumala Naynkkan began and never completed. Native 
manuscripts say that he began 6i others (some give the figure as 
£6) in different places, all at one and the same auspicious moment, 
but that many of them were never completed. Unfinished 
examples very similar to that at Madura may be seen at Alagar- 
kovil and Periyakulam. ' Beginning a Rdya gopuram ' is a saying 
now applied in Madura to tlio commencement of any hopelessly 
ambitious undertaking. The lowest storey of this tower occupies 
} Indian and Eastern Architecturt {3 ohu Murray, 1876), 365, 



CIIA?. XV. more tlian twice the space covered by any of the existing gopuramfi 
JlAniTBA. {^,,,1 the sculptare on it is riclior and cleaner cut than that on any 
other. Tlie doorposts of tho f^aton-'ay through it are formed of 
monolitlis over 50 feet high and 3 feet wide, carved with exquisite 
scrolls of foliage. Had it been finished it would have been tlie 
finest gopuram in southern India. Having never been conse- 
crated, it has escaped the whitewash which has spoilt so many of 
the other buildings in the town. 

Here we may take leave of tlie great Madura temple. No 
general view of it will remain in the memory, for there is no point 
from which more than a small portion of it can be seen, and the 
chief impression it leaves is wonder at the enormous amount of 
labour spent upon the immense quantity of elaborate carving in 
granite which it contains. This granite is supposed to have come 
from Tirupparankunram. It is not known where the fine grained 
black stone which appears here and there in it and in TirumaUi 
Nayakkan's palace was quarried. 

The inscriptions in the temple so far deciphered are not of 
much interest. On the inner parts of it are some grants of 
Pandyan times. The institution is managed by five dharmakartas 
appointed by election under the Eeligious Endowments Act, 
s ubordinate to whom is a manager. A typical annual budget is 
roughly as under : — 





Tasdik allowance 


Daily expenses (lighting, 

Inam villag'ea and land 


food for the di'ities, oLc.)..! 


Rent of shops and stalls in 



the temijle ... 


Establishment (priest.s, 

Rent of cocoanut topes, etc. 


cooks, sweeper.=i, etc., and 

Rent of land in and about 

revenue officials for tho 

Madura and elsewhere ... 


care of the temple's land). 


Offerings in tlie undial 





Legal expenses 




Any surplus is usually laid out in repairs to the fabric,, which, 
notwithstanding the fact tliatthe Nattukottai Chettis have spent 
some five lakhs apon the building, are stiU urgently needed iu 


The chief festivals arc tlic Ohittrai, Teppakulam and Avaai- CHAP, XV. 
mulam feasts. The first (and chief) of these occurs in tlie month Maddea, 
of Chittrai (April- May) and celebrates tlie marriagw of >Siva and 
Minakshi. The great event in it is the dragging of the temple 
car through the foiir Masi streets, so called because this event 
originally took place in the month Masi February-March. A 
very large cattle-fair is held at the same time and the Alagarkovil 
god comes to the town. The second feast takes place in Tai 
(January-February). The images of the god and goddess are 
floated on a raft [teppam) round the Teppakulam, whicli is lighted 
with thousands of little lamps for the occasion. This festival was 
originated bj Tirumala Nayakkan after he had built the Teppa- 
kulam, and is fixed for the anniversary of his birthday. The 
third feast occurs in August or September and at it a number of 
the exploits of Siva are commemorated — among them those con- 
nected with the life of the saint Manikya-Vachakar and referred 
to on p. 290 below. 

There are many other temples in Madura, but space docs not 
allow of any- detailed account of them. The biggest is that to 
the Yaishnava deitj' Peruinal in the south-west part of the towu. 
Near it is a tank called the Perumal teppakulam to distinguish 
it from the other ('Vandiyur') Teppakulam. The outer walls 
of this building bear several marks made by round-shot. The 
central shrine was designed on regal lines, but was apparently 
never finished. The stone work in this — especially the pierced 
granite windows, all of different delicate designs, whicli light the 
passage round the inner shi-ine — is as excellent as anything in 
Madura. The temple to kSiva in his form Nanmaitaruvar, ' giver 
of benefits,' has recently been repaired at great cost by the 
Chettis. The Patnulkarans [seQ p. lUU) have their own place 
of worship, in which priests of the caste officiate. The lower 
classes largely frequent the shrine to Mariamma, the goddess 
of small-pox, which stands on the edge of the Vaudiyur 
Teppakulam. This is hung with cradles presented by women 
who believe themselves to have obtained childreu by the grace of 
the goddess and is decorated with rows of painted clay images 
of children whom she is held to have delivered from sickness. 

This Teppakulam (' raft tank '), which has been several times 
referred to, is an artificial reservoir made by Tirumala Ndyakkan. 
It is filled by a channel from the Vaigai and lies at the extreme 
south-east comer of the town. It is almost a perfect square, 
measuring (along the outside of the parapet walls) 1,000 feet on 
the north and south and 950 feet on the east and west, and is the 


274 MADtJRA. 

CHAP. xy. largest construction of the kind in south India. The sides are 
W A DURA. faced all round with cut granite and surmounted by a handsome 
parapet of the same material, just inside which a granite-paved 
walk, five feet wide, runs all round the tank. Flights of steps, 
three on each side, run down at intervals to the water's edge. In 
the middle of the reservoir is a square island, also faced with cut 
granite, on which, among green palms and flowering trees, is a 
small white temple with a tower of the usual kind, flanked, at the 
four corners of the island, with graceful little mantapams. The 
whole is exceedingly well-proportioned and graceful in effect. The 
story goes that this spot was the place at which the bricks for Tiru- 
mala Nayakkan's palace were made, and that when the clay for them 
was being dug out the stone image of Ganapati now in the temple 
and referred to above was found buried underground. Realizing 
that the discovery showed that the spot was holy ground, the king 
turned the excavations into this beautiful tank. The legend at 
least affords an explanation for the construction of such an under- 
taking so far from the tovpn. 

The ruins of Tirumala Nayakkan's palace stand near what was 
once the south-east corner of the old fort. The map of the town 
in 1757 already given shows what an immense area the buildings 
originally covered. Only one block of them now survives. The 
destruction of them was begun by Tirumala's own grandson 
Chokkanatha, who ruled from l(i62 to 1682. He held his court at 
Trichinopoly, and, to provide himself with a dwelling there, ruth- 
lessly removed thither all the best portions of his grandfather's 
splendid residence, but only succeeded in constructing a building 
which has remained quite unknown to fame. The plan of 1767 
shows the arrangement of the chief parts of the original building ; 
a vernacular paper translated on pp. 157-9 of Vol. il of Taylor's 
Oriental Historical Manuscripts gives a lengthy description of 
these ; the two drawings made by DanieU in 1794 which are 
reproduced in M. Langles' Monuments anciens et modernes de 
I' Uindoustan (Paris, 1821) show portions which have now entirely 
disappeared ; a painting in the library in the Tanjore palace and 
another in the possession of Mr. Fischer and referred to above 
show other similar parts ; and from the roof of the one block which 
survives may be seen the taU Ten Pillars, a small dome among the 
Patnulkarans' quarter, and the site of the old Naubat khana (or 
band stand) which were all once included in the original building. 
But these materials are not sufficient to enable us to reconstruct 
the palace as it stood in the days gone by. One thing only is 
certain, namely that, in spite of the current belief to the contrary, 


the Collector's present office near tlie temple and the building- CHAP. XV. 
called ' Mangammal's palace ' where the taluk cutch'Drry and other Madura. 
offices are now located were entirely distinct from it. 

The Nauhat khana, it may here be noted, was so dilapidated 
in the fifties that the American Mission declined to take it as a 
gift ; it was then restored by Mr. Greorge Fischer for the use of a 
school ; and was taken by Government in 1 858 for the use of the 
new Znia school. When the new building for this latter was put 
up, the Naubat khana was used for some time as the ]3olice head- 
quarter office. It was eventually sold as being past repair and the 
Patnulkarans' primary school now occupies its site. 

The one block of the palace which now survives consists of two 
oblong- buildings running east and west en echelon and connected 
at one corner. The smaller of these is 135 feet long, half as wide 
(including- the cloisters on either side), and about 70 feet in height. 
' It possesses,' says Fergusson, whose book contains an inadequate 
engraving of its interior, ' all the structural propriety and 
character of a Gothic building.' The roof is a pointed arch of 
brickwork strengthened by granite ribs springing from a double 
series, one above the other, of other pointed arches supported on 
columns. Behind the upper series of these arches runs a gallery 
resembling the triforium of an English cathedral. Tradition 
says that this room was Tirumala's sleeping apartment and that 
his cot hung by long chains from hooks in the roof. One night, 
says a favourite story, a Kalian made a hole in the roof, 
swarmed down the chains and stole tlie royal jewels. The king 
promised a jaghir to any one who would bring him the thief, and 
the Kalian then gave himself up and claimed the reward. The 
king gave him the jaghir and then promptly had him beheaded. 
For many years this chamber was used as the District Court, and 
portraits of two former Judges, Sir Pliilip Hutchins and Mr. 
Thomas Weir, still hang in it. It is at present occupied by one of 
the Sub-Courts. 

The larger of the two buildings is even more impressive. It 
consists of a great open courtyard, 252 feet long and 151 feet 
wide, round which runs a roofed arcade of great beauty, su]:)ported 
on tall stone pillars 4 feet in height connected by foliated brick 
arches of much elegance of design ornamented with Hindu designs 
carried out in the fine shell-lime plaster which almost resembles 
marble. Round three sides of this court, at the back of the 
arcade, runs a very handsome line of lofty cloisters, 43 feet wide 
and upheld by three parallel rows of pillars supporting arches 
some 26 feet high. In the middle of two sides of this are large 
domes built on pillars of the eanie height as those of the outer 

276 MADUBA. 

CHAP. XV. arcade, and an upper gallery runs all round it. On ttie fourth 
Madcea. side of the court the cloister is much deeper and finer, being 
altogether 105 feet wide, supported on five rows of huge pillars 
and roofed with three great domes, the central and largest of which 
measures 60 feet in diameter and is 73 feet ahove the ground. In 
front of it stands a magnificent portico, the pillars of which are 
55 feet high to the spring of the arches. 

The vernacular MS. above referred to calls this building the 
Swarga Vildsam and says — 

' This pavilion is so constructed as to cause it to be said that in 
no other country is theie a court eq[ual to it, by reason of its splendid 
ormimeuts, their excellence, number, extent, curious workmanship, 
and great beau y. To the west, in the midst of a great dome-shaped 
hall, is a square building- of black stone, inside which is a chamber 
made of ivor3\ In the middle of this is a jewelled throne, on which 
the king is accustomed to take his seat at the great niue-nights' festival 
sarroxmcled by all his banners or ensigns of royalty, and before wliiob 
all kiuf;,s are accustomed to do homage.' 

Behind this domed chamber are tnren other rooms which, 
though small, are noteworthy for the Jall pillars of black marble 
which uphold their ronfs. 

The whole construction has been declared by competent 
authority to be the larg;est and most perfect specimen of palace 
architecture existing anywhei-e south of a line drawn from Bombay 
to Calcutta. 

M. Langles' volume already referred to shows that the palace 
was an absolute ruin before tlie British acquired the Madura 
country. He says that it was utilised as barracks, and the Survey 
Account of 1821 states that part of it was occupied then by a 
paper factory worked by convict labour. In 1S37 Mr. Blackburne 
reported that it was used by tne weavers for their work, and 
obtained leave to demolish the great walls (40 feet high, 900 feet 
long on the east and west and 660 feet on the north and south) 
which surrounded it and which threatened to collapse. In J 857 
it was stated that almost every part of the building was so cracked 
as to be dangerous aiid that the only really safe part of it was the 
inner cloister. The courts of the District Judge, Sub-Judge, 
Sadr Amin and MunsiE were, however, held in it and the Zilla 
school occupied the north-east corner of the cloisters. The 
amount required to restore the place was estimated at two lakhs. 
In IS-'jS heavy rain did much damage and brought down the west 
wall of Tirumala Nayakkan's bed-chamber and the Judge 
reported that portions of the building fell so frequently that 
approach to his court was ]:)0sitivcly dangerous and that the 
Sub-Judge and Munsit had had to move elsewhere. 


In 1868 Lord Napier, the then Governor of Madi-as, wrote an crr.AP. XV. 
emphatic minute on the necessity of restoring- ancient ruins in RlAnuRA. 
general and this palace in particular, and Mr. Chisholm, the 
Governu.ent arcliitect, was sent down to report on the possibility 
of saving wliat remained of the building. His. account led the 
Government to decide to repair the palace to render it suitable for 
the Revenue, Judicial and municipal offices of the town, and a first 
instalment of Ks. 10,000 for this purpose was entered in the 
bi'dget for 1870-71. Thereafter annual aUotmenta were made for 
continuing tlie work. Lord Napier took the greatest personal 
interest in the matter and in 1871, after visiting the place, 
recorded an elaborate minute regarding- the offices which were to 
be located in it. By 188:^ Es. 2,V''fii}0 had been spent, iron ties 
had been inserted to hold the structure together, the ruined 
portions had been rebuilt or rendered safe, the plaster-work and 
painting li;id botn restored on the original linos and the entrance 
on the east side of the great courtyard had been surrounded with 
an ornamental gateway. This entrance had been cut through the 
solid brickwork in comparatively recent times. Mr. Chisholm 
found evidence to show that the original opening had been on the 
west, behind the three great domes. 

Various public offices were then located in the restored 
portions, and to accommodate them the cloisters were partitioned 
off into sets of rooms with ugly dwarf walls which quite spoilt 
their appearance. The next year a committee of local officers 
settled the best methods of distributino: the remainiuy- available 
space and much correspondence ensued as to the desirability of 
placing- the Collector's office in the building. By 1886 a sum of 
Ks. 3,81,000 had been spent on, or sanctioned for, the palace, and 
shortly afterwards the Collector's office was at length moved into 
it. The space available was, however, found to be quite insuffi- 
cient and eventually it was removed back to its former quarters. 

The palace, indeed, is in no way suited for public offices. 
The ventilation is insufficient, the acoustic projicrties poor, the 
lighting bad and the surroundings insanitary ; while, owing to 
the echoes in tlie great oourfyard, the noise maile by the crowds 
who attend the various courts and offices renders it most difficult 
to hear in any of them. Consequently, as already stated above, 
a new court-house is to be built on the otiitr side of the Vaigai, 
north-west of the Mysore cliattram, for the Judge iwho now 
holds court under the great dome) and the other judicial officers 
who arc located in the ])alace ; and new quarters are to be 
constructed on a site to the south of the Thuiakam for the 
Collector's office and its various branches, the Madura Deputy 

278 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. Collector and the talisildar. The only offices then left in the 
jSIaddra. palace will be those of the Registration department. These will 
he located in the three rooms west of the great dome and all the 
dwarf walls aud partitions will be removed from the cloisters. 
This part of the old pahice will thus, after the lapse of perhaps a 
couple of centuries, be restored to almost its original grandeur. 

Mangulam : Twelve miles north-east of Madura ; population 
8,075. To the south of it stands the Pandava-muttu hill, in the 
rock on the western side of which are cut three small shrines 
adjoining one another. Thej are about -^ feet deep and 7 feet 
high and look as if thej had been originally intended to be 
connected together so as to make a rock-cut temple of the usual 
kind. I'here are no inscriptions or sculptures at the spot. 

A mile east of the village is Kalugumalai, on a rock on the 
top of which are some of the shallow excavations which (see 
p. 75) are called Pancha Pdndava padukJcai or ' beds of the five 

Fasumalai : A small hill of quartz rock, standing two miles 
south of Madura, from which most of the metal for mending the 
streets of the town is quarried. The name means 'cow hill,' and 
the legend about the place in the Madura dhala purdna says that 
the .Tains, being defeated in their attempt to destroy Madura by 
means of the serpent which was turned into the Nagamalai 
(see p. 7), resorted to more magic and evolved a demon in the 
form of an enormous cow. They selected this particular shape 
for their demon because they thought that no one would dare kill 
so sacred an animal. Siva, however, directed the bull which is his 
vehicle to increase vastly in size and go to meet the cow. The 
cow, seeing him, died of love and was turned into this hiH. 

The hill, it may be mentioned, bears no resemblance to a cow 
or to any other animal. It consists of two rounded heights joined 
by a lower saddle. On one of these is a shrine to one of the many 
grdmodevfjfns at which sheep are periodically offered up, and 
beneath the other is the extensive compound of the American 
Mission, wdthin which are built the high school referred to on 
p. 176 above, a church, a theological seminary and numerous 
subsidiary buildings. 

Siriipalai (or Siruvalai) contains 663 inhabitants and is 
situated eight miles north-north-west of Madura. It is the chief 
of the four villages which make up the small zamindari of the same 
name. This was one of the ' unsettled pdlaiyams ' referred to on 
p. 194 above and no sanad has yet been granted for it. Nor, 
since it has passed out of the possession of the family of the original 


holders, is it scheduled in the Impartible Estates Act of 1904. It CHAP. X7, 
was sold in 1861 in satisfaction of a decree of the civil courts Madura. 
obtained by creditors of the then zaraindar, Achyuta {alias 
Vasuvacha) Kama Kavundan, an Anuppan by caste, and passed 
successively to Marudamuttu Pillai, Tavamuiiia Pillai, Mr. T. M. 
Scott (a barrister at Madura), Mr. E. Scott (his son), Father 
F. Rapatel, s.j. (who bought it in 1893 on behalf of the Madura 
Jesuit Mission) and Chidambara Chetti, the present registered 
holder, w^ho purchased it from the mission in 1900. 

Tirupparankunram : Four miles south-west of Madura ; 
population 4,528 (largely Kalians) ; a station on the main line of 
the South Indian Ivailway. The village is built at the foot of a 
hill which rises 1 ,04-8 feet above the sea and is called Skandamalai, 
or ' Subrahmanya's hill ' from the famous temple to tliat deity 
which stands at the foot of it. The Musalmans, however, say that 
the name is properly Sikandarmalai after a fakir called Sikandar 
who is buried at t!ie top of the hill. The place was formerly a 
sort of outpost of Madura, figures more than once in the wars of 
the eighteenth century, and still contains traces of fortifications. 
The granite of which the hill consists is a handsome variety with 
pink and grey bandings which is much prized as building material, 
and tradition says that it was largely employed in the construction 
of the Madura temple. A flight of steps, gradually degenerating 
into mere footholds cut in the rock, runs up the hill to the tomb of 
the fakir. About half way up, on the southern face of the hill, on 
the overhanging side of an enormous hummock of bare granite at 
the foot of which is a deep cleft full of water, are carved, side by 
side, two panels about 2| feet long and 2 feet wide representing 
nude, standing, Jain figures in the customary position with their 
hands hanging straight dovm by their sides and surrounded by 
female attendants, some smaller figures and a cobra or two. They 
are some eighteen feet from the ground and must have been sculp- 
tured from a scaffolding. This has saved them from mutilation. 

A little further along the same south side of this hummock is 
a small shrine to Kdsi Visvesvaralinga. The cleft here widens out 
to a considerable pool of great depth, and on the rock on the far 
side of it are carved in a line, in deep relief, representations of the 
lingam and certain of the Hindu gods. The pujdri has to swim 
across the pool to cover them with tlie daily oblations and flowers. 
The water contains numbers of small fish which come for food 
when called by the bairdgis who frequent this spot. 

On the very top of the hill is the tomb of tlie fakir Sikandar. 
It lies in a crevice between two boulders in which the holy man is 

280 maduRa. 

CHAP. XV. said to have lived and died. In front of it is a new porcli sup- 
Maddra. ported by pillars of JTindu style and crowned with a brick dome 
and minarets constructed after the Musalman fashion which are 
still unfinished. The visitors to the building are as mixed as 
its architecture, tlie place being frequented by both Hindus and 

.^t the foot of the southern side of the hiU is a rock-cut temple 
(commonly called the Umaiyandan kovil) which must once have 
been the finest of its kind in the district. It measures about 19 
feet by 17 feet and 9 feet in height, and at the west end o': it is a 
separate shrine 8 feet square. It was originally supported by four 
pillars, but the two in the centre have now disappeared (probably 
through fires having been lighted round them) and the two outside 
have been disfigured by being built into an ugly waU which now 
runs across tiie face of the temple. The place is dedicated to 
Natardja or Siva dancing in competition with Kali (the form in 
which he is worshipped at Chidambaram) and the central portion 
of the back wall is occupied by what must once have been a most 
spirited sculpture of the deity, flanked on either side by the 
drummer and by K41i. This, howe/er, has also been almost entirely 
destroyed. To the east of this group is an image of Subrahmanya 
with his two wives and in the separate shrine to the west is a 
representation of Siva in the uncommon form of Ardhanarisvara, 
or half man and half woman. Almost all the eastern side of the 
temple is occupied by a long inscription which has been assigned ^ 
to king Maravarman Sundara I'auuya I, who (see p. 35) came 
to the throne in 1 2 16 A.D. It records the grant of lands and 
endowments to this temple in the sixth year of his reign. Outside 
the shrine, on the face of the rock cliff in which it is excavated, 
are a series of sculptures of rishis and deities. 

The big temple to Subrahmanya stands close under the nerth- 
ern foot of the hill and its innermost shriue is cut out of the solid 
rock. In front of this are a series of mantapams, built at different 
levels, one below the other. 'J he lowest or outermost of these is 
an exceedingly fine example of this class of work. Its roof is of 
great stone slabs and is supported on 48 tall, carved, monolithic 
pillars, which are from 2J to 24 feet high but the sculpture 
on which is clogged with the usual colour wash. It has three 
aisles, the middle one of which (measured from the inside edges 
of the pillars) is as much as 24 feet wide, and it occupies a 
total area 116 feet by 91 feet. These mantapams are said to have 
been auilfc by Tirumala Nayakkan, and a statue of him stands at 

^ Ep. Ind., vi, 31 i. 


the side of tlie shrine. A well withia the temple, called the CHAP, XV. 

Satiydstkulam, contains water which is held in such repute as a ^Madura. 

remedy for diabetes and other diseases that it is carried all the 

way to Madura and sold there. The building contains several 

inscriptions. One of these says that in 1792 A.D. a regiment of 

Europeans seized the town and were forcing their way into the 

temple when the priests, ft-aring that its holiness would thus be 

destroyed, prevailed upon one Kutti to throw himself down from 

the gopurani, Kutti did so, the regiment withdrew, the place 

was saved and Kutti (who evidently survived) was given a grant 

for his heroic action. In olden days it was a not uncommon. 

practice in Madura, says Blackader,^ for the constant quarrels 

between the native rulers and the temple priests to be settled in a 

similar way. A man climbed up one of the gopurams and vowed 

that unless the quarrel was ended by a certain time he would 

throw himself down. Neither side cared to be held guilty of his 

blood, and each accordingly did all in its power to heal the 


Velliyakundam : Eight miles north-north-east of Madura ; 
population l,2.->>4. The chief of the thirteen villages whicli make 
up the small zamindari of the same name. This estate, which is 
some 3,300 acres in extent, was one of the ' unsettled pdlaiyams ' 
referred to (p. 194) above, but a sanad has since been granted 
for it. It is not scheduled in the Impartible Estates Act, 1904, 
as in 1882 it passed from the family of the original owners by a 
court sale to the present registered holder, Mindkshi Nayakkan. 

^ Archseoloc'ia, xv, 463. 


282 MADURA. 


CHAP. XV. Mi^LUK is the easternmost taluk of the district and slopes 
Mfxi^R. gradually towards the south-east, llie southern part of it is a 
flat and somewhat uninteresting plain which is now being rapidly 
turned into wet land with the aid of the Periyar water, but the 
northern portion is picturesquely diversified with the spurs of 
the Ailiir hills, the Karandamalais, the Nattam hills and the 
Alagarmalais, and is a pleasant country covered with tiny 
patches of rice-cultivation under little tanks and wide areas of dry 
crops growing on vivid red soil among red, wooded hills. The 
villages here are usually hidden away among groves of fine trees, 
especially tamarinds, and on ever)- scrap of waste land scrub aud 
bushes flourish luxuriantly. The soil is apparently particularly 
suited to the growth of trees, and the magnificent wlnte-barked 
figs which line the road west of Nattam are the finest in all the 

Over a fifth of the taluk, a higher proportion than in any other, 
is covered with foreat. The soil is all of the red ferruginous 
variety and is the poorest in the district. None of the dry land 
is assessed at more than Rs. 1-4-0 per acre (in no other taluk 
except Kodaikanal is this the case) and as much as nine-tenths 
of the wet lanl (a higher proportion than in any other part 
of Madura) is charged as little as Rs. 8-8-0 or less. Meliir, 
however, receives a heavier rainfall than any part except the 
Palni liills, and the Periyar water reaches most of the south of 
it; consequently as much as two-fifths of the taluk is cultivated 
with paddy and it is better protected from f;imine than any other 
except Madura. The population has hitherto increased very 
slowly, the proportional growth both in the decade 1891-1901 
and in the thirty years from 1871 to 1901 being smaller than in 
any taluk except Tirumangalam ; but as the use of the Periydr 
water extends, a change in this respect may be looked for. 

Statistics on other matters regarding the taluk will be found 
in the separate Appendix. Below is some account of the more 
interesting places in it : — 

Alagarkovil : A temple to Vishnu in his form Alagarsvami, 
* the beautiful god ", which stands close under the southern end 
of the hiU called (after it) Alagarmalai, twelve miles north-west 
of Madura town. 


Round about this teuiple, in days gone hj, was a considerable C51AP. XV. 
fortified town ; and the remains of the palace of Tirumala M^lub. 
Nayakkan which still stand near it show that it was a favourite 
place of residence of the rulers of Madnra. It is now absolutely 
deserted ; owing, it is said, to its feverishness. 

The spot is most picturesque. Running out southwards from 
the foot of the hill and surrounding not only the temple but the 
rains of the old town and palace, runs a high rectangular fort 
wall, measuring some 730 yards by 400, faced with stone and 
crowned with battlements of dark red brick exactly like those 
shown in the picture of Madura fort above (p. 265) referred to. 
A stone gateway passes tlirough this, in front of which a broad 
street, flanked on either side by high mounds made of the debris of 
former houses and by a rained shrine or two, runs straight to the 
temple and the old palace. Tliese stand close under the Alagar 
hill and the red brick of the main gopuram of the former building 
contrasts effectively with the dark green of the wooded slopes 
behind it. 

Passing up this street one sees first, on the western side, a 
carved stone mantapam wliich is supposed to have been built by 
Tirumala Nayakkan and contains several life-size statues, two of 
which are said to represent that ruler and his wife. The ' fair 
round belly ' for whicJi ho was notorious is reahstically and 
unflatteringly depicted. A little further up the street are the 
ruins of his palace, an erection of brick and chuuam which wjis 
roofed with the domed and vaulted structures used in the palace 
at Madura and is consequently in the last state of decay. Facing 
it is the temple car-stand and gorgeous new car. Further on is a 
big mantapam which belongs to the Kalians of this part of the 
country. It is lofty, and contains many excellently sculptured 
pillars and a frieze of well-executed carvings of episodes in the 
various incarnations of Vishnu, but all these are clogged up with 
whitewash. Westward of it is the Udya gopuram, or ' king tower,' 
an imposing unfinished mass which is said, like its counterpart at 
Madura, to be due to the great Tirumala, embodies the best stone- 
carving in all the place, has hitherto escaped the whitewash brush, 
but is choked up with debris, covered with trees, plants and 
creepers and requires only a few more years of neglect to be an 
absolute ruin. AVest of it again, is the Vasnnfa manUipam or 
' spring porcli,' a building forming a hot- weather retreat for the 
god and containing a square central mantapam surrounded by a 
stone channel designed to hold cooling streams, and a shady 
cloister the walls and ceilings of which bear frescoes illustrative of 
the Yaishnava scriptures. 

284 MADUIA. 

CHAP. XV. Eetracing his steps to the Kalians' mantapain, the traveller 

MfLUK. reaches at length the Alagarkovil itself. This is surrounded 
with a high wall, over the main (eastern) entrance through 
which I'ises a ffopuraii). In front of this entrance, however, is 
a notable peculiarity. A flight of eighteen steps runs down from 
it at the foot of which is a big wooden gate which is sacred to 
Karuppanasvami, the most popular of aU the less orthodox gods 
of the Madura district. He is known here as ' Karuppan of the 
eighteen steps.' The gate and steps are held in especial veneration 
by the Kalians who are so numerous in the adjoining villages. 
The gate is spattered from top to bottom with sandal-paste ; on 
either side of it is a collection of great iron bill-hooks and spears 
(some of them 12 ft. long) which are the favourite weapons of 
Karuppanasvami and have been presented to him in accomplish- 
ment of vows by devotees whose undertakings he has blessed ; and 
mingled with these are the cradles given him by women to whom 
he is supposed to have granted otfspring. The gate is commonly 
resorted to when solemn aflfirmations have to be made. It is 
believed throughout the taluk that the man who swears to a false- 
hood here and passes through Karuppan's gate with the lie upon 
his lips wiU speedily come to a miserable end, and many a civil 
suit is settled by the parties agreeing to aUow the court's decree 
to foUow the affirmations which are made in this manner. 

Just to the south of the gate, is a stone bearing a modem 
(1842) inscription relating how Pachaiyappa MudaH (the well- 
known benefactor of Pachaiyappa's CoUege at Madras and other 
charities) gave the annual interest on a lakh of pagodas for feeding 
pilgrims to the temple. North of it is the every-day entrance 
to the spacious Alagarkovil quadrangle, which measures 90 yards 
by 50. This is a striking place. On two sides of it towers the 
wooded hill ; it is paved throughout with stone ; round the sides 
of it stand several Little mantapams and two old circular granaries 
called Kama and Lakshmana, formerly used to hold the offerings 
of grain made to the god ; and in the middle of it, faced by a 
long, much whitewashed, three-aisled mantapam of the Nayakkan 
period, upborne by 40 pillars shaped into fearsome yalis and other 
figures, is the holy of holies. This has an uncommon circular 
apse lighted, it is said, by windows of pierced stone all of different 
design. In it is kept the wooden image of the god, the processional 
image (an unusually handsome affair heavily plated with gold), 
another image, about 15 inches high, made of sohd gold and 
most beautifully chased, and the temple jewels, some of wliich 
are the gift of Rous Peter (see p. 259) and bear his name. 


In the gods bedchamber adjoining, stands a rare and antique CHAP. XV. 

bedstead, said to be tlie gift of Tirumala (whose statue stands at MEtcu. 

the entrance to the room), which from all accounts (Europeans 

cannot, of course, see it) must be nearly unique. It is said to be 

12 feet long by 10 feet wide and about 15 feet high; to stand on 

a pedestal of sculj^tured black stone, inlaid with small ivory figures, 

supporting four pillars carved from similar stone and ornamented 

with small detached shafts and figures in ivory ; and to be covered 

with a domed wooden roof elaborately inlaid with ivor\" work 

carved in most intricate and minute designs. 

Of late years, under the present energetic executive, much has 
been done to bring the Alagar temple and its surroundings into the 
state of re]iair which its considerable wealtli (its income is some 
Rs. 16,000) demands. The quadrangle has been cleared of rubbish 
and earth, the inner rjopurain above the entrance to the shrine has 
been repaired, the main cfopuy^am is shortly to be similarly treated, 
the fort wall is being patched and a big teppakulam near the main 
gate through this is being rebuilt. 

On the hill above the temple, to the north and perhaps two 
miles away, is a clear and cool natural stream, called the Nupura 
Gangai, which Hows over a little waterfall into a reservoir sur- 
rounded by a vamnta mantnpam and thence down the mountain 
side to the temple. I'ipes have recently been laid to bring this to 
the different parts of the building and its surroundings and this 
is a great boon to the pilgrims at festivals. No other water is 
ever used for bathing the god (who is said to turn black with dis- 
pleasure if such an innovation is attempted) and when he makes his 
annual journey to Madura this water is always carried with him. 

This journey takes place at the time of th^-> Chittrai (April- 
May) festival at Madura, when Siva is married to Minakshi. 
Alagar is carried in state in a great palanquin, halts at each of the 
numerous mantapams whicli line the 12 miles of road to tlie 
town, and eventually stays for the festival at Tallakulam, the 
village just north-east of the Yaigai l)ridge. Before he starts, liis 
palanquin is halted at the gate of KaruppanasvamI, who is held to 
be in some way his servant, and S list of the jewels he is taking 
with him is publicly recited. When he grts back, tlu^ same list 
is re-read in the same place in token of the safe return of tliese 
valuables. Tho religious enthusiasm exhibited throughout the 
whole of this state progress needs to be seen to be believed. 

The popular story accounting for tho visit says that Alagar is 
the brother of Minakshi, comes to her wedding, arrives too late 
for the ceremony, and so returns home in dudgeon without entering 

286 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. the town. This has no canonical autliority. There is no real 
Met-uk. connection between Alagar's journey ond the wedding ; and before 
Tirumala Nayakkan's reign they took place at different times, the 
former occurring in the month Ohittrai (April-May) and the latter 
in Masi (February-March). Tirumala combined the two for the 
convenience of the numerous pilgrims by fixing the wedding 
festival in Chittrai, in which month it still occurs. 

Alagarsvami is held in special veneration by the Kalians wlio 
are so numerous in the neighbouring villages and is often popularly 
called the Kallar-Alagar. The men of this caste have the right to 
drag his car at the car-festival and when he goes on his visit to 
Madura he is dress^^d as a Kalian, exhibits the long ear lobes charac- 
teristic 'of that caste, and carries the boomerang and club which 
were of old their favourite weapons. It is whispered that Kalian 
dacoits invoke his aid when they are setting out on marauding 
expeditions and, if they are successful therein, put part of their 
iU-gotten gains into the offertory {undt'al) box which is kept at his 

Arittdpatti : About midway between Melur and Alagar- 
kovil and a mile south of the road connecting them. Population 
1.654. One of the many villages which have been transformed 
by the Periydr water-channels, paddy-fields now occupying what 
a few years ago was all dry land. 

Hidden away in a solitary spot in the long, low line of bare, 
broken, hills which lies to the west of the village site and is called 
tlae Perunialmalai, is a neat little rock-cut Siva temple which faces 
west. It consists of an inner shrine about 8 feet square and 
7 high containing a lingam; a little porch in front of this 
measuring some 9 feet by 5 and including, on either side of 
the entrance to the shrine, a dvdrapdhka (door-keeper) carved in 
high relief, standing in an aggressive attitude and armed with a 
formidable club ; and on either side of this porch, less deeply 
recessed, two niches containing figures, again in high relief, of 
Ganesa and of some individual bearing a big club round which 
twines a cobra. The whole affair — shrine, lingam, dvdrcipdiakas 
and images — is all cut out of the solid rock, and the sculpture is 
much better than in the usual run of this class of temple. In 
front, stands a detached nandi (Siva's bull) of more modern date. 
There appear to be no inscriptions in the immediate neiglibourhood. 

Karungdlakudi : Eight miles north of Meliir on the Trichi- 
nopoly road ; population 2,075. About a mile to the south of the 
viUago are still left a few dolmens. Tliey were formerly numerous. 
To the south-east of it, on the floor of a natural shelter made by an 


overhanging rock, are cut out some Panclia Pdndava paclukkai, or CHAP. XV, 

' "beds of the five Pandavas ' (see p. 75). Others, it may here be Mf l6r. 

mentioned, are to be seen to the north-west of Kilavalavu, seven 

miles south by east on the M^Kir-Tiruppattur road. Karungalakudi 

also contains one of the oddest of tlie many curious solid granite 

hills which abound in this part of the district — a huge sugar-loaf 

peak, the western side of which is one smooth, unbroken, bare slope 

of sheet rock. Nearly due west of the village site, on tlie opposite 

side of the road and on the top of a low hummock of rock, stands 

the prominent temple of 'J'iruehunai, an old Saivite shrine which 

contains ten or a dozen inscriptions of Pand) a timos. 

Kottampatti : Fourteen miles north of Melur on the Trichi- 
nopoly road ; population 2,126 ; police-station, local fund chattram 
and an ancient travellers' bungalow (it was in existence in 1817) 
in a pleasant compound. Tlie village was formerly a jilace of 
importance owing to its being one of the stages on the ]algrim road 
to E^mesvaram, but the railway has now diverte(i tliis and other 
traffic and the trunk road which runs past the place from Madura to 
Trichinopoly is full of i-uts and hok'S which would disgrace a village 

Iron ore is moi-e pli^ntiful in this neighbourhood than jierliaps 
anywhere in the district. A mile east of the travellers' bungalow 
it crops out in the form of silicate in a hill of quartz, the whole of 
which is coloured by it.^ It is seen again in a tank three-quarters 
of a mile west of the bungalow, and again four miles still farther 
west it forms a hill of ironstone some 50 feet liigh and nearly half 
a mile long. It then vanishes, Init reapjiears about a mile to the 
westward again, where it rises into a ridge in a small hill, forms 
several prominent points, again vanishes, reappears once more about 
a mile still west in long ridges, and forms the topmost peak of a 
hill some 600 feet liigh. The whole line of the outcro]i is thus 
eight miles long, in which distance it forms an important jiart of 
seven considerable hills and, where it has been excavated, strews 
much of the low ground with its fragments. In 1855 se\'erai native 
blast furnaces were at work in this part of the taluk extracting the 
metal from iron ore and iron- sand. 

About a mile to the north-east of Kottampatti, through dense 
groves of cocoanut and other fruit trees, runs the Polar, a jungle 
stream of some local im})ortance. Four miles beyond it, a striking- 
object from the village, rises the steep scarp of Pirdniualai hill in 
the Sivaganga zamindari. At the foot of this is a well-known 

' The account which follows is basod on pp. 119-20 of Dr. Balfour's Report 
on Iron ores (Madras, 1855) which in its turn was founded on material contributed 
b^ th» R«T. C, F. Muzrj of th« American MiBBion ftt Madura, 

288 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. temple to Subrahmanya and two other shrines, all of which contain 
MiLUR. ancient inscriptions, and also a rich math in charg-e of a non-Brahman 
Fanddra-sannadhi ; and on the top of it are five or six sacred pools, 
a stone niantapam, a Alusahnan place of worship strongly built 
of big bricks, the ruins of masonry fortifications and a long iron 
cannon of curious design. 

M61ur : Eigliteen miles north-east of Madura on the road to 
Trichinopoly ; population 10,100 ; union ; head-quarters of the 
taluk and so the station of the tahsildar and stationary sub- 
magistrate and of a sub-registrar ; a centre of the American 
Mission ; weekly market ; travellers' bungalow, police-station, 
local fund chattram. The Periyar project has brought new life to 
the town, which is now a rising agricultural and commercial 

It is known to history as the head-quarters of the turbulent 
Kalians of the ' Melur-nad,' whose exploits are referred to in the 
account of the caste on p. 93 above, and Muhammad Ylisuf Khan 
established a fort there to overawe them. All trace of this has now 
vanished, bat AVard's Survey Account shows that it stood round 
about the present travellers' bungalow, to the north-east of the 
village. After the English took control of the district, a detachment 
of native infantry was kept in Melur for some years, and perhaps 
the bombproof buildings there and at Kottampatti which are now 
used as travellers' bungalows are relics of this occupation. In the 
compound of the former stands the finest banyan in the district — ■ 
perhaps in the Presidency — a huge tree which shades a roughly 
circular space some 75 yards in diameter and which has a much 
taller and thicker top than its well-known rival in Madura. 

Nattam : Twenty-three miles north-north-east of Madura by a 
road which in bygone years was the main route to Trichinopoly 
but is now in very second-rate order. Population 7,796; union; 
station of a sub-registrar who is also a special magistrate under the 
Towns Nuisances Act ; travellers' bungalow (at Velampatti, half a 
mile to the west) ; police-station. In the eighteenth century the 
village possessed a fort and was a regular halting-place between 
Trichinopoly and Madura, and it appears frequently in the histories 
of the wars of that period. It was then the head-quarters of a 
zamin estate. This escheated to Government at the beginning of 
the last century for lack of legal heirs. There are ruins of old 
wells and buildings to the west of the village. The place used to 
be notorious for its fever, but is now healthy enough and boasts a 
thriving manufacture of oil (some of it made in iron mills of 
European pattern) from ground-nut and gingelly seed. 


The village gives its name to the scattered, stony ' Nattam CHAP. XV, 
hills ' which surround it, and to the ' Nattam pass ' which leads to MiLtJB. 
Madura hetween the Alagarmalais and the eastern spurs of the 
Sirumalais. Both these were formerly great strongholds of the 
' Nattam Colleries' (Kalians) who figure so prominently in Orme's 
history. In 1755 the expedition under Col. Heron which had 
been sent to quiet Madura and Tinnevelly (see p. 62) met on its 
return with a most serious reverse in this Nattam pass. Orme 
describes the place as ' one of the most difficult and dangerous 
defiles in the peninsula ' as it ' continues for six miles through a 
wood, impenetrable everywhere else to all excepting the wild 
beasts and Colleries to whom it belongs.' The advance party of 
-the expedition saw no enemy in this pass and so went on and halted 
at Nattam. The main body followed and had got well within the 
defile when one of the gun tumbrils stuck in the mud. This 
blocked the other tumbrils, the three guns of the rear detachment 
of artillery and all the baggage, which was at the tail of the 
column. Col. Heron foolishly allowed the rest of his men to 
proceed, and they were soon two miles ahead of the blocked 
portion. This latter was guarded by only 100 men, of whom only 
25 were Europeans. 

The Kalians now burst upon this small body from all sides. 
The guns opened fire on them, but they ' nevertheless maintained 
the attack for some time with courage and with a variety of 
weapons ; arrows, matchlocks, rockets, javelins and pikes ; every 
one accompanying his efforts with horrible screams and howlings.' 
EventuaUy they pushed right down to the road, stabbed the 
bullocks which drew the tumbrils and broke open these vehicles. 

In them they found what was probably the cause of the whole 
attack — some little brazen idols which the expedition had taken from 
the temple at KovUkudi, six miles east of Madura. ' The confused 
outcries of the enemy were on a sudden changed to one voice, and 
nothing was heard on all sides but continual repetitions of the word 
steamy, meaning gods, which expression they accompanied with 
violent gesticulations and antic postures, like men frantic with joy.' 
Bat the recovery of the idols did not end the fight, and it was not 
until dark that the section got through the pass to the main body 
of the detachment ; and then only with the loss of many men and 
more followers and the whole of its baggage and stores. Col. 
Heron was recalled to Madras, court-martiaUed, and cashiered. 

Tiruvadur : Six miles south of Melur; population 2,499. 
Picturesquely situated on a fine tank, across which is a beautiful 
view of the Alagar hills. The road runs along the embankment of 
this. On top of one of the sluices stands an unusual stone image 


290 MADUEA. 

CHAP. XV. of a centanr-like being wliicli is supposed to protect tlie tank. 
Uiitvi. Close und^r the embankment, beliind a slirine to Pid^ri, is a small 
building made of old stones bearing fragments of inscriptions, 
wliicli marks tlie place wbere one Venkammal committed sati on 
the pyre of lier murdered husband. This meritorious deed, say 
the people, has ever since brought prosperity to Tiruvddur. 

The tank flanks the north and west sides of the village and these 

were further strengthened in former days, by a stone-faced rampart 

topped with a red brick parapet similar to that at Alagarkovil 

(p. 283) and protected by semi-circular bastions. Extensive 

remains of these are still standing. AVithin these fortifications is 

the village and its old Siva temple. This latter contains an 

architectural freak which is not uncommon in this district but is , 

nowhere carried out in so bold a manner. The wide stone eaves 

of the imposing ruined mantapam just within the gateway (the 

sculpture throughout which is unusually good) are made of hugo 

blocks of granite, some six feet long, the upper sides of which are 

fashioned into a most graceful double curve while the under 

portions are carved, at immense expense of time and energy, to 

represent long, thin wooden rafters radiating from a central 

point above the building and strengthened by purlins executed in 

complete relief. Similar eaves surround the porch to the south of 

the inner shrine of this temple and (until it was recently repaired) 

were also to be seen in another mantapam in the north-east corner 

of the inner enclosure. The remains of these last are lying about 

the temple courtyard. 

Tiruvddur was the birth-place of the famous Saivite poet- 
saint Mdnikya-Vachakar (' he whose utterances are rubies '), the 
author of the sacred poems known as the Tinivdchakam. The 
site of his house is still pointed out and there is a shrine to him 
within the temple. lie is thought by some^ to have lived as early 
as the middle of the fifth century, and the current traditions 
regarding his life are known and repeated throughout the Tamil 
country. A Brdhman by caste, he rose, it is said, to be Prime 
Minister to the Pandya king of Madura. But his mind turned 
ever to higher matters and a crisis was at last reached when he 
handed over to a holy guru (who was really Siva in disguise) the 
whole of an immense treasure with which his royal master had 
sent him out to buy horses for the cavalry. The tale was carried 
to the king, who instantly summoned Mdnikya-Ydchakar to the 
capital. Siva bade him go as directed and assure his master that 

^ Christian College Magaaine, N.S., i, 144 ff. Dr. Pope's Tiruvaragam 
(Clarendon Press, 1900) gives a translation of his jjoems and the main events of 
his life. 

ga7:ettrer. 291 

the horses wouhl shortly arrive ; and then, in one of those fits of CHAP. XV. 
playfulness which so endear him to his adherents, the deity trans- M^l^r. 
formed a number of jackals into splendid horses and himself rode 
at their head into the town of Madura. The Pandya king's 
displeasure vanished at the sight and Mdnikja-Vachakar was 
forgiven ; but the same night the supposed liorses all resumed 
their original sliapes, escaped from the royal stables and ran 
howling through the Madura streets back to their native jungles. 
Mjinikya-Vachakar was thrown into prison, but Siva again inter- 
vened and sent a mighty flood down the Vaigai which threatened 
to overwhelm the capital. The whole population was turned out 
to raise an embankment to keep back the waters and every man 
and woman in the place was set to build a certain section of this. 
One aged woman could not complete her task quickly enough, so 
Siva assumed the guise of a labourer and set himself to help her. 
At that moment tlie king came along to inspect the work and, 
seeing this section behindhand, struck the supposed cooly with his 
stick. Now Siva is the world, and when lie was struck every man 
and woman in the world — tlio king liimself included — felt the blow ; 
and the king thus knew that Siva was on the side of Mdnikya- 
Vdchakar and at once released his minister. 

Mdnikya-Yachakar thereafter renounced mundane affairs, 
travelled round as an ascetic to the more famous shrines of the 
south, singing their praises in the polished verses which are even 
now recited in thorn, settled at length near Chidambaram, and 
finally attained beatitude within the shrine of the great temple 

In Madura his memory is kept green at the festivals at the 
Mindkshi temple. Every year at the Avanimulam feast, the 
story of the jackals is acted and a live jackal is brought into the 
temple and let loose with much ceremony ; and the people go 
in a body to a spot on the banlc of the Yaigai near the munici- 
pal waterworks and similarly enact the story of the raising of 
the dam, one of the temple priests taking the part of Siva and 
shovelling earth and another representing the Pandya king and 
striking him. 

292 MADURA. 


CHAP. XV. This new talnlc is surrounded witli liills. It is bounded on tlie 
Nilakk6xtai. greater part of its northern and eastern sides hj the Siruraalais and 
the Alagarnialais, and on much of its southern and western frontiers 
by the Nagamalai, the end of the Andipatti range and a corner of 
the Palnis. It is also well watered. The country round 
Vattilagundu is irrigated by the almost perennial Manjalar, and 
the Vaigai runs all along the southern part of the taluk. The 
important Peranai and Chittanai dams across this latter river are 
both situated within the taluk, and much of the southern part of it 
is irrigated by the Periyar water which the former of them renders 
available for cultivation. 

Detailed statistics for Nilakkottai are not yet available. The 
more interesting villages in it are the following : — 

Ammayanayakkanur : Four miles east of Nilakkottai and 
786 feet above the sea. Contains a chattram, a travellers' bungalow 
and a railway rest-house, and is the station at which passengers 
for Kodaikanal alight — bullock-tongas taking them thence to 
Krishnama Na yak's tope at the foot of the ghat^ — and the point 
of export for the produce of the Kannan Devan Hills in Travancore. 
Tlie battle fought here in 1736 (see p. 58) decided the fate of the 
Nayakkan dynasty and delivered its territories into the hands of 
Chanda Sahib. 

The village is the chief place in the zamindari of the same 
name, which pays the fourth largest peshkash in the district and 
includes the plateau and the western slopes of the Sirumalai hiUs. 
Family tradition ^ says that the original ancestor of the zamindar's 
family was one Makkaya Nayakkan, wlio was owner of a palaiyam 
in the Yijayanagar country and commanded one of the detachments 
which accompanied Visvanatha's expedition thence to Madura 
in 1559 (see p. 41). For his services he was granted this estate 
and put in charge of one of the 72 bastions of the new Madura 
fort. His property appears originally to have included villages 
round Vedasandlir and some rights over the palaiyam of Palliyap- 
panayakkanur (Klivakkapatti), but when the Mysoreans took 

^ Full details regarding distances, cliargee, baggage and arrangements 
generally, will be found in the South Indian Kailway Guide. 
* In one of the Mackenzie MSS, 


Dindig-ul the former were detaclaed and the latter was made CHAP. XV. 
independent.^ During Ilaidar's operations of 1755 against the Nilikkottai. 
Dindigul poligars (see p. 70) the owner of Ammayanayakkanur 
assisted him and so escaped the punishment which overtook most of 
his fellows. The estate was however sequestrated for arrears by 
Tipu in 1788, but restored by the Company in 1790. In 3 796 the 
poligar gave trouble, declining either to pay up his arrears of 
peslikash or to keep the road to Madura free of dacoits, and the 
forfeiture of his proport}- was proposed. 

The subsequent history of the family has been largely a 
chronicle of debt, mismanagement and litigation. In 1846 the 
property was leased to M. Faure de Fondclair, who built the 
bungalow the ruins of which stand a little to the north of the 
railway-station, started the planting of coffee on the Sirumalais, but 
(according to a report by the Collector) dealt so oppressively with 
the ryots there that several of the hill villages were deserted and 
much land went out of cultivation. He died in 1853 (he is buried in 
the Roman Catholic church at Madura) and in 1856 his claim against 
the estate was cleared oft and the property leased again to a Chetti 
of Devakkottai." In 1870 another lease to one Adimulam Pillai 
was executed, but this was afterwards set aside by the courts. A 
permanent sanad was granted for the zamindari in 1873. A 
subsequent gift of the estate to his wife made by a later zamindar 
in 1891 was set aside in 1894 by the High Court, which declared 
the property inalienable and impartible.^ The present proprietor, 
Ramasvami Nayakkan, succeeded in 1905. A decree for ]^ lakhs 
has been passed against him and a receiver has been appointed 
to take charge of the estate. 

' A peculiar custom called ddydiH pattam regulates the succession 
to this palaiyam.* On the demise of the palaiyagar for the time 
being, the estate devolves, not on his heir according to the Mitakshara 
law, which, in the absence of a special custom, governs this part of 
southern India, not on the eldest son according to the rule of primoge- 
niture, which obtains in the other palaiyams in the district owned by 
persons of the Kamblar fTottiyan) caste, but on the ddyddi, or cousin, 
of the deceased palai3agar who is ponior in ago and who is descended 
from one of the three brothers who originally formed a joint Hindu 
family. These three brothers were named (1) Petala Nayak, (2) Cha- 
kala Nayak, and (3) Chinnalu Nayak, and of the three branches 

^ Historical memorandum of 1796 in thn Collector's recordB. 

2 Eccords in O.S. No. 13 of 1892 on the file of the West Sub-Court of 

3 T.L.R. (Madias), XVIII, 287 ff. 
* Ibid., 289. 



GHAP. XV. Rpringing from tlipm the second is now extinct. Thus- the class of 
NiLAKKdrTAi. kindred in -which the heir has to he found is that of the descendants 

of the two branches, and the person to be selected as palaiyagar from 

that class is the one who is the oldest or senior in years.' 

This curious custom is accounted for bv ilio following- tradition : 
One of the poligars, named Ponniya Nayakkan, died, leaving a wife 
Kistnammal and an infant son Lakkayya. Hearing- that her late 
husband's brother, Kamayya Nayakkan, was ]ilotting to murder her 
and her child and seize the estate, Kistnammal had him assassinated. 
His -wife Errammal was OTorcomo with grief, committed saii on 
his funeral pyre, and 2:)ronounced a hideous curse against any direct 
descendant who should thenceforth succeed to the estate. The 
stone slab bearing representations of a man, a woman and a child 
"which stands within the little enclosure a couple of hundred yards 
north-east of the railway-station, is said to mark the spot where 
the sati was committed and is still paid periodical reverence by 
the zamindar's family. 

KulaS^kharankottai : Population 3,023. Lies nine miles 
south-east of Nilakkottai at the foot of the southernmost spur of 
the Sirumalais. On this spur are two curious cavities in the rocks, 
ojDening one out of the other, which have at some time, for some 
unknown purpose, been roofed with a large mass of concrete and 
so formed into two chambers. The villagers have always held 
that there was hidden treasure in these, and an old man who was 
90 years of age in 1887 related to the then Collector, Mr. E. Turner, 
how sixty years before he and some others had dug down 
into them, AVhen they entered, the foremost of the party fell 
down and died, and, thinking that he had been killed by a devil, 
they gave up the enterprise. Mr. Turner reported the story to 
Government, who directed him to examine the place with the 
Archaeological Superintendent. An entrance was dug into the 
chambers and the toe-ring and bones of the man above referred to 
(who had doubtless been suffocated by the foul air of the place) 
were found, but nothing else. 

Mettuppatti : A. village of 488 inhabitants belonging to the 
Ainmayanayakkanur zamindari and lying six miles south of 
Nilakkottai, on the south bank of the Yaigai. The Peranai dam 
(near which is a Public Works department bungalow) lies partly 
within its limits and partly in Pillaiyarnattam. 

About a mile north of Mettupatti is a hill called Siddharmalai 
('sages' hill^) on the top of which is a very ordinary Siva shrine. 
A path running from this down the southern side of the hill leads 
to some odd sculptures representing a pair of feet, a balance , a 


trident and otlier oLjects enclosed in a rectangalar border, above CHAP. XV. 
wliich. is an inscription as yet undecipbered. Tbe spot ia known Nilakk^ttai. 
locally- as the Pancba Pandava padam, or ' feet of the five 
Pandavas.' A little west of it are five ' Pandava beds ' of the 
usual description, round about which are more inscriptions. Near 
the Kannimar kovil, lower down the hill, is cut upon the rock a 
figure of an armed man which is f)opnlarly declared to represent 
Karuppanasvami and is reverenced accordingly by the local Kalians. 
Tradition says that this hill was once the abode of sages and 
recluses and that they cut these unusual figures about it. 

Nilakkottai : A union of 5,2G9 inhabitants ; head-quarters 
of the tahsildar of the taluk and of a sub-registrar ; contains a 

The place was the chief village of the estate of the same 
name which was one of the 2o pdlaiyams of the Dindigul province. 
According to one of the Mackenzie MSS.^ the founder of the 
palaiyam came from the Vijayanagar country before the time of 
Visvanatha Ndyakkan and built the mud fort from which the 
village is named and the remains of which still stand about a 
quarter of a mile to the south of it. His successors (sculptures 
of some of whom are still to be seen in the Ahobila Narasimha 
shrine in the village) strengthened this fort, built temples and 
assisted the Nayakkans of Madura in their military expeditions. 
The history of the estate after Dindignl became a province of 
Mysore has already been referred to on pp. 70 and 183. 

After the Company acquired the country, the poligar (Kulappa 
Nayakkan) fell iuto arrears with his tribute, and in 1795 his estate 
was accordingly resumed. He then openly rebelled and on 11th 
December 1798 attacked the Nilakkottai fort (one of the strongest 
in all the Dindigul country) with a force of six or eight thousand 
Kalians from the Anaiyiir country armed with ' small jingalls, 
matchlocks, spears, cudgels and bludy:cons.'' Messrs. TurnbuU 
and Keys (one of whom was inside the fort at the time) give 
a graphic account of the affair in the Survey Account. The fort 
was garrisoned with a company of sepoys under a subadar and 
300 sibbandi peons under the tahsildar, a Musalman. After some 
hours' hard fighting, they succeeded in putting the attackers to 
flight. The same night three more companies of sepoys arrived 
from Dindigul, and the next day the Collector and another 
company from Madura. These pursued tlie poligar, but failed to 
catch him. A reward of Es. 1,000 was then put upon his head, 
but with no better success. Three years later, however, the 

1 Vol. II, 21G. 

296 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. poligar, dressed as a mendicant, presented himself before tlie 
Nilakk6ttai. Collector, threw himself at his feet, and hesought the protection 

of the Company. The Collector procured for him an allowance of 

.30 pagodas a month and permission to reside in his former capital. 
In 1805 the then Collector (Mr. Parish) made over to him a large 
sura which had accrued to the estate during his absence from it, 
and with this he bought back his old property and Vattilagundu 
as well. Seven years later, however, the peslikash on these was 
again in arrears and they were once more resumed. The poligar 
was granted an allowance and a descendant of his, who lives 
within the mouldering walls of the old fort, still draws a pension 
from Government. 

Sandaiyur : Ten miles in a direct line south-west of Nilak- 
kottai ; population 460. Formerly the chief village of the estate of 
the same name, which was one of the 26 p^laiyams of Dindigul. The 
history of this property up to the time when the Company acquired 
that province has already been referred to on pp. 70 and 183. The 
poligar, Gopia Ndyakkan, afterwards gave considerable trouble. 
In 1795 he laid claim to the palaiyam of Devadanapatti, the owner 
of which had just died, declined to pay any peshkash unless his 
claim was admitted, raised nearly 200 armed peons and plundered 
Vattilagundu and Ganguvarapatti. The Collector accordingly 
seized his estate and it was shortly afterwards formally sequestered. 

Solavandan : A union of 13,556 inhabitants standing on 
the left bank of the Vaigai twelve miles north-west of Madura ; 
sub-registrar's office ; railway-station. The union includes the 
two villages of Mullipallam and Tenkarai which adjoin one another 
on the opposite bank of the river. 

Solavandan is said to mean ' the Chola came ' and the old name 
of the village is shown by inscriptions to have been Cholantaka- 
Chaturvedimangalam, the first part of which means ' destruction 
to the Cholas.' Hence tradition has it that the town was the 
scene of a defeat of the Ch61as by the P4ndya kings of Madura, 
but when this occurred is not clear. The numerous inscriptions of 
Pdndya rulers in the Perumdl temple at Solavandan and in the 
Mulanatha shrine at Tenkarai seem to show that the village was a 
favourite with those monarchs. In 1566 Yisvanatha's minister, 
Arya Nayakka Mudali (see p. •2), brought a number of his caste- 
men (Tondaimandalam Vellalas) from near Conjeeveram and settled 
them ia Solavandan, building for them 300 houses, a fort and a 
temple and providing them with a guru, slaves, artisans and 
Paraiyans. Their descendants are even now found in considerable 
numbers in the place and are chiefly congregated in a portion of 
it which is still called Mudaliy^rk6ttai, or ' the Mudahyar's fort.' 


In later times, during- the wars of the eighteenth centarj, the CHAP, XV. 
fort here became of importance, since it commanded the road Nilakk6ttai. 
between Madura and Dindigul. In 1757 Haidar Ali of Mysore 
marched out of the latter town, took this place without opposition 
and marched up to the walls of Madura, plundering as he went. 
He was soon afterwards beaten back by Muhammad Yiisuf, the 
Company's Commandant of sepoys, and the latter subsequently 
strengthened Solavandan to prevent a repetition of his incursion. 

Besides commanding the Madura-Dindigul road, ^561avandi,n 
was for centuries an important halting place for pilgrims travelling 
to Ramesvaram. Queen Mangammdl built a chattram here for 
these people and endowed it generously. It still exists (see 
p. 157) and bears her name, but now that the pilgrims usually go 
by rail direct to Madura it is no longer as much used as in the 
old days, and part of its income has been diverted to the main- 
tenance of a chattram opposite the Madura railway-station. 

Nowadays Solavanddn is chiefly known for its numerous plan- 
tations of cocoanuts and the richness of its wet lands. These 
spread for a long distance on either side of the railway and are a 
prominent object from the train as one approaches Madura from 
the north. The advent of the Periydr water has made them more 
valuable than ever and they command very high prices. In the 
tanks among them is the best snipe-shooting in the district. 

Tiruvedagam : On the left bank of the Vaigai, twelve miles 
north-w^est of Madura ; population 1,488. 

The name is said to mean ' the place {agam) of the sacred {tiru) 
leaf {eduY, and the Madura sthah purdna tells the following story 
accounting for it : Kubja (' the hunchback ') Pandya, king of 
Madura (the Ferhja Purdnam, see p. 29, calls him Nedumdran) 
became a Jain and persecuted all his Saivite subjects. Hia queen, 
however, remained in secret a fervent adherent of Siva, and 
through her means Tirugndna ^ambandhar, the famous Saivite 
poet-saint, was induced to visit the city. The king was afflicted 
at this time with a serious fever which none of his Jain priests 
could remedy, and at last he was induced to send for the priest of 
the rival religion. He was cured by Tirugndna Sambandhar not 
only of his fever, but also of his hunchback, and ho changed his 
name accordingly to Sundara (' the beautiful') Pandya, became a 
Saivite again, and decreed the death of all Jains. But these 
latter prevailed on him to first agree to a trial of strengtli between 
them and Tirugndna. Prayers of the two faiths were written on 
palm-leaves and thrown into a fire, but the Jain texts were all 
consumed and the Saivite scriptures remained untouched. Prayers 


^98 MAt)URA. 

rilAP. XV. were then similarly ^Niitten on other palm-leaves and thrown 
JJiLAKKoiTAi. into the Vaigai to see which would first sink. Those of the Jains 
quickly disappeared, but tliose of Tirugndna floated away up- 
stream, against the current, until they were out of sight. This 
confirmed the king's determination to have done with the Jains, 
and he impaled all who declined to Lecome converts to Saivism. 
Afterwards a search for Tirugn4na's leaves was made, and they 
were found in a grove of bilva trees, where also a lingam 
was for the first time discovered. The king accordingly built 
a temple on the spot and round about it grew up the present village 
of Tiruvedagam. 

' Tirugndna Sambandhar's math ' in Madura town, a prominent 
building to the south-east of the temple, is said to be built on 
the site of an older math in which the saint stayed during this 
affair and to have been afterwards called by its present name 
in celebration of this victory. It is now presided over by non- 
Brdhman Pandara-sannadhis, who appoint their own successors, 
and on its walls are the portraits of a long series of these 
individuals ; but tradition says that it was once a Brdhman institu- 
tion. In it is a small shrine dedicated to Tirugndna, before which 
the odumrs morning and evening recite the sacred verses of 
the' saint. 

Tottiyankottai : Six miles west south- west of Nilakkottai, 
population 190. Once the chief village of another of the 26 
pdlaiyams already several times mentioned (see pp. 70 and 183), 
It was eventually resumed again by the Company, apparently for 
arrears. As the name of the place implies, the poligar was a 
Tottiyan by caste. The estate always suffered from its compara- 
tive propinquity to the marauding Kalians of Anaiyur in the 
Tirumangalam taluk ; one of its chiefs had once to flee from them 
and in 1816 the poKgar lived shut up in his fort to be secure 
from them. 

Vattilagundu (fl//asBatlagundu)is a union of 10,665 inhabi- 
tants lying seven miles west of Nilakkottai at the junction of the 
road from Dindigul with that between Ammayandyakkanur and 
Periyakulam. It is a regular place of halt on the journey from 
the railway to the latter and the PaLui hills, and contains a local 
fund chattrani and a travellers' buugalow. The latter looks west- 
wards over a stretch of rich paddy land and up to the Kodaikanal 
cKifs, aud is one of the pleasantest halting-places in the district. 
The wet fields in these parts are watered by channels from the 
Manjalar, which is an almost perennial stream, and the rice called 
' Yattilagundu sambd ' is so much prized that the crop is said to 


be sometimes bouglit in advance before ever the seedlings are CHAP, xv, 
planted. Nilakkottai, 

Vattilagundu formerly boasted ' a considerable fort,' the twelve 
bastions and five gates of which were still standing when the 
Survey Account of 1815-16 was written. In 17o0 this was the 
scene of some sharjD fighting between Haidar All's troops from 
Dindigal and the forces of the Compajiy in Madura under 
Muhammad Yusuf, the l^ommandant of the sepoys. The latter 
captured the pla>ce in July, making a breach with cannon and then 
storming it, but were themselves at once attacked by reinforcements 
from Dindigul. Their detachments outside the walls were driven 
back after six days' hard fighting, and subsequently the fort itself 
fell after a stubborn resistance. Shortly afterwards Muhammad 
Ylisuf in his turn was reinforced from Madura, and he set himself 
to win back the place. He was completely successful, driving the 
Dindigul forces out of their camp, capturing their artillery and 
reoccupying Vattilagundu. 

300 MAT1T7HA , 


CHAP. XV. 'j'fjjg lifs in tiie nortli-west corner of the district and 45 per 
Palni. cent, of it is made up of zainindaris. It was formerly called the 
Aiyampalle taluk. Along the whole of its southern houndary run 
the Palni hills, and it slopes northwards away from these and is 
drained by the three parallel rivers — Shanmuganadi, Nallatangi 
and Nanganji — which flow down from their slopes. 'J'he wet 
land under the first of these is some of the best in the district 
and as much as 8 per cent, of the irrigated fields of the taluk 
are assessed as highly as Es. 7-8-0 and over per acre. Palni con- 
tains some patches of black soil, but red earth occupies a higher 
proportion of it than of any other taluk except Melur. This land 
is much of it infertile, and nearly one-half of the dry fields are 
assessed at as little as 12 annas and under per acre. Also, the 
taluk receives less rain than any other. Consequently in bad 
seasons it is poorly protected and it suffered severely in the great 
famine. In ordiuary years it is saved by its numerous wells, 
which water as much as nine per cent, of its irrigated area and 
the cultivation under which is carefully conducted, and only 9-g- 
per cent, of the assessed land, a smaller figure than in any other 
taluk, is unoccupied. The chief crop is cholam, which is grown 
on nearly a third of the total cultivated area, and next come 
horse-gram and the smaller millets. 

Statistics relating to the taluk are given in the separate 
Appendix. Below are accounts of its chief towns and villages : — 

Aivarmalai, 'the hill of the five,' is a prominent height, 1,402 
feet above the sea, which rises abruptly from the surrounding 
country nine miles west of Palni and is crowned by a little 
shrine to Ganesa. The people say it was a resting-place of the five 
Pdndava brothers, and hence its name. Ou the north-east side the 
rock of which it consists overhangs and foiJii a natural shelter 
160 feet long and 13 feet high. This has i^ow been bricked up 
and formed into shrines for such popular deities as Draupadi and 
so on ; but it was doubtless originally a Jain hermitage, for above 
it, on the face of the overhanging rock, in a long horizontal line 
about 30 feet from end to end and arranged in six groups, are cut 
sixteen representations of the Jain tirthankaras, each some 
eighteen inches high, which constitute the best preserved relic of 


tte Jains in tlii.s district. Some of the tirtliankaras are standing, CEAP. XV. 
others are seated; some have a hooded serpent above their heads, Pai-ni. 
others one on either side ; some have the triple crown above their 
heads, others nothino- at all ; some are supported on eacli side by a 
person bearing a chdmara (Hj-whisk), olhers are unattended. 
Round about them are cut several short Yatteluttu inscriptions, 
parts of which are defaced by lamp-oil. Tlie.i!e have not so f.-ir 
been translated. 

Ayakkudi : Four miles east of Palni. A union of 14,725 
inhabitants and the chief village of the zamindari of the same 
name. This latter, which includes a considerable area on the 
Palni hills, is the second largest in the district, and the pro- 
prietor of it is also owner of the large estate of Kettayambddi. 

According to the traditions of his family ^ his original ancestor 
(like those of other Tottiyan zamindars of the distinct, see p. 106) 
quitted the northern Deccan in the fifteenth century and came south 
into the territories of Yijayanagar. There he was granted a 
pdlaiyam near the well-known temple of Ahobilam in the present 
Anantapur district, since when Ah6bilani (often corrupted into 
Obila ' and the like) has been a common name in the family. 

One of his descendants accompanied the expedition of Visva- 
natha (p. 41) to .Madura and was granted this estate and 
appointed to the charge of one of the 72 bastions of the Madura 
fort. He built Palaya (•' old') Ayakkudi, and Puda (' new') 
Ayakkudi was founded some time afterwards. His successors 
built forts and villages, cleared the forest, kept the wild elephants 
from molesting pilgrims to Palni, brought the Kalians and other 
marauding peoples to order, constructed tanks and temples, and 
accompanied the Nayakkans of Madura on their vaiions military 

When the Company acquired tlie Dindigul province the estate 
was in some way an appanage of the Palni pdlaiyam, and in 1 794 
the two poligars were engaged in open hostilities. In 1795 
Ayakkudi was ordered to be detached and separately assessed, and 
in consequence the Palni poligar openly rebelled and Ayakkudi 
began arming. The latter chief was eventually arrested and con- 
fined in the Dindigul fort. In 179G the estate was handed back 
to the family, and ten years later the then head of it purchased 
Rettayambadi at a sale for arrears of revenue. 

Both properties were included for many years among the 
'unsettled pdlaiyams ' of the district (see p. lOi). They were 

^ Mackenzie MSS., Local Records, vol. 42, 449, and \Vil8on, 4i7. 


CHAP. XV. managed by the Court of Wards from 1851 to 1860 during- the 
Palni. minority of the then proprietor Janakirdma Ndyakkan. He died 
in 18G8 and his paternal uncle, Muttakondama Nayakkan^ suc- 
ceeded. In 1872 this man turned ascetic and resigned the 
property to his eldest son, Ahobila Kondama. The next year 
this latter was granted a pernianeut sanad for this estate and for 
Uettayambadi. Thereafter, he rapidly fell deeply in debt and in 
1879 he leased the property to the Chettis for nineteen years. 
Later on he transferred the estates to a nephew ; but a son 
(Ahobila Kondama Ndyakkan) who was subsequently born to him 
contested the transfer in the courts and was eventually placed in 
possession by a decree of the Privy Council in 1900. The prop- 
erty has since been again mortgaged (with possession) to a 
^ Chetti. 

The customs at the succession of a new lieirare curious. When 
the zamindar is on his death-bed the heir is bathed and adorned 
with flowers and jewels, is taken to the dying man, and receives at 
his hands the insignia of ownership. He then goes in a pro- 
cession with music and so on to a mantapam, where he holds a 
levee and is publicly pranounced the rightful successor. He is 
not permitted to see the corpse of his predecessor nor to exhibit 
any sign of grief at his death. 

Idaiyankottai : Lies on the northern frontier of the taluk 
and on the left bank of the Nangdnji some 21 miles by road from 
Dindigul; population 3,044. In 1815 remains of its old fort, a 
construction about 200 yards square defended by sixteen bastions, 
were still visible close to the river. 

It is the chief village of the impartible zamindari of the same 
name. According to the family traditions among the Mackenzie 
MSS., the original ancestor of this family (like those of several 
others of the zamindars of tliis district) came to Madura with 
VisvanAtha (p. 41) and for his services was granted this estate and 
placed in charge of one of the bastions of the Madura fort. The 
history of the estate m the eighteenth century has already been 
referred to on pp. 70 and 183, from which it will be seen that it 
escaped the numerous resumptions and restorations which were 
the usual lot of its fellows, and was one of the four of the 26 
palaiyams of Dindigul which were not under attachment at the time 
that the Company acquired that province in 1 790. It formerly 
belonged to the district of Aravakurichi in Coimbatore, and was 
added to Dindigul by Haiftir Ali. 

In 1792 the then poligar gave the P'ngiish some trouble, 
setting out to plunder in the Coimbatore district, and Mr. Hurdis 


wa5 oLlig'ed later on to resume tlie estate for arrears. These were CHAP. X7. 
afterwards paid, and the estate was restored. Thereafter for many Palm. 
years it was one of the ' unsettled palaiyams ' of the district and it 
was not g'ranted a permanent sanad until 1871, when Muttu 
Venkat4dri Nayaldcan was the projirietor. This man died in 1872 
and his son Lakshmipati followed him and held the estate until 
his death on 3rd October 1902. His son and heir was then a minor 
fourteen years old, and the estate was accordingly taken under the 
management of the Court of Wards, which is still administering it. 

Kalayamuttur : Three miles west of Palni on the Udamalpet 
road ; population 5,491^. 

In 1856, 63 gold coins of Augustus and other Eoman emperors 
were found in a small pot buried in the ground near the Shanmu- 
ganadi here. ^ A mile west of the village, on the southern side of 
the road, are a few kistvaens of the usual kind and size in fair 
preservation, and there are eight more to the north of Chinnakala- 
yamuttur, on either side of the road. These latter are propitiated 
by the villagers, especially in cases of difficult labour; they are 
daubed with the usual red and white streaks of paint and in front of 
them are some of the little swings which are so often placed before 
shrines in gratitude for favours received. 

Kiranur : Ten miles north of Palni ; population 3,973. 
A prosperous village lying in the valley of the Shanmuganadi and 
inhabited largely by Ravutans, who grow betel under the river 
channel, trade with the Coimbatore district and keep several of the 
bazaars in Ootacamund. It is an ancient place, and the inscriptions 
on the Siva temple to the east of it record grants by Ch6la kings 
who flourished as long ago as 1063 A.D. 

Mambarai : A small impartible zamindari of only three 
villages which lies on the northern frontier of the taluk 21 miles 
north-east of Palni. There is no village of the name. 

According to one of the Mackenzie MSS., the original ancestor 
of the zamindar's family, about whose prodigious personal strength 
several fabulous talcs an^ narrated, was granted the pdlaiyam 
by Visvandtha Nayakkan (see p. 42 j and afterwards accompanied 
the later Ndyakkan ruler.s of Madura on several of their military 

The • estate once belonged to the Aravakuriclii district of 
Coimbatore, but was transferred by Haidar AH to Dindigul and 
formed one of the 2G pdlaiyams comprised in that province when 
it was acquired by the Company in 1790. Its history up to that 
year has been referred to on pp. 70 and 183. 

' M.J.L.S., xvii, lu. 

304 MADUBA. 

CHAP. XV. Thereafter it remained for a long while one of the 'unsettled 

VAhST. pdlaiyaras ' of the district, and it was not granted a permanent 
sanad until ]87^. The present proprietor's name is Venkatardma 
Ndyakkan and he lives in Attapanpatti. He succeeded in 1888 on 
the death of his father, Kumdra Kathirava Ndyakkan, in August 
of that year. As he was then only eight years old, the estate 
remained, until he attained his majority, under the management of 
the Court of Wards. 

Palni : Head-quarters of the taluk and a municipality of 
17,168 inhabitants. The proposals which have been made regard- 
ing the improvement of the water-supply of the place are referred 
to in Chapter XIV. The town is loiown throughout the south of 
the Presidency for its temple to Subrahmanya referred to below. 
It is the head-quarters of the tahsildar and stationary sub-magis- 
trate and of a sub-registrar, and contains a hospital, several 
chattrams, and a travellers' bungalow belonging to the temple 
authorities. It has always been a great centre of trade with 
Coimbatore on the one side and the Palni Hills on the other. 

Palni is one of the most charmingly situated places in all the 
district, standing 1 ,068 feet above the sea on the edge of the great 
Vydpuri tank and looking across this towards the mouths of the two 
largest valleys in the Palnis and the bold cliffs which separate them. 
Framing the eastern side of this beautiful prospect, rises the steep? 
rocky hill (450 feet high) on the top of whi(!h is built the famous 
temple to Subrahmanya in his form Dandayudhapani, or ' the 
bearer of the baton.' Round this hill runs a sandy road adorned 
at intervals with many mantapams, several of which contain great 
stone images of the peacock, the favourite vehicle of Subrahmanya. 
Up it, is built a winding flight of stone steps on which are cut the 
names and footprints of many devotees, and which is flanked at 
frequent intervals by mantapams and lesser shrines, and crowded in 
typically oriental fashion with pilgrims passing up and down to the 
temple, beggiug ascetics smeared with holy ash, a few gorgeous 
peacocks and many most impudent monkeys. A story is told^ 
about Queen Mangammdl of Aladura and these steps. One day 
when she was going up them, she came upon a young man who, 
perceiving her, retreated in confusion. She called out graciously to 
him Zrunkol ! or '' Pray wait !' and he and his sons' sons thereafter 
always took this word as their name. At night the path is lighted 
at intervals with lamps (a favourite form of showing devotion to 
the god is to maintain one of these for a certain period) and the 
effect from below is most picturesque. 

^ Indian Antiquary, x, 365. 


Arcliitecturally, tlie building on the top of the rock is not CHAP. XT. 
noteworthy, there being no sculpture in it which is above the Palni. 
ordinary. It consists of the usual outer wall enclosing a central 
shrine surrounded by smaller buildings and entered from the west 
by a gateway beneath a brick and plaster gopuram. The best 
reward for the climb is the view of the great Palni Hills and the 
rich cultivation 

Spread like a praying-carpet at the foot 

Of those divinest altars. 
The fading of the evening light of a quiet October day across 
the green rice-fields, the groves of palms and the vast, silent range 
beyond is a memorable sight. The belt below the hills, though very 
fair to the eye, is exceedingly malarious; and Aiyampalle (which 
of old gave its name to this taluk) and Balasamudram (once the 
fort and residence of the poligar of Palni referred to later) are now 
entirely deserted, their fields being tilled by people who live in 
Palni and return home every evening. 

The sthala furdna of Palni gives the widely known legend 
regarding the founding of this temple : Agastya, the famous rishi, 
created the hill Sivagiri on which the shrine stands and the neigh- 
bouring, slightly lower, eminence now called Idumbanmalai ; did 
penance on them for some time ; and then went to Mount Kail^sa 
to visit Siva. On his return to his home at the southern end of 
the Western Grhats, he sent his demon-servant Idumban to bring 
these two hills thither. Idumban fixed them to either end of a 
Ixdoadi (the pole by which burdens are slung the shoulder) 
but when he began to lift them he found that Idumbanmalai went 
up in the air while Sivagiri remained immovable. Tliinking the 
latter must be too heavy lie put two big boulders (still to be seen) 
on the top of the former to make the balance better. Sivagiri, 
however, was still immovable, so he went to it to see what was 
the matter. 

Meanwhile, on Mount Kailasa, Siva had offered a pomegranate 
to whichever of his two sons, Subrahmanya and Ganesa, could 
travel round the world the quicker. Subrahmanya mounted his 
peacock and set olf at a great pace, bnt Ganesa (whose elephant- 
head and portly figure handicapped him heavily in euch a contest) ' 
took thought and then walked slowly round his father and claimed 
that as Siva was all-in-all he had by so doing travelled round the 
world and won the fruit. Siva admitted his contention and gave 
him the pomegranate. Subrahmanya eventually completed his 
journey and was very wroth when he heard how he had been 
outwitted. His father attempted to console him l»y saying Palani 


306 MADUEA. 

CHAP. XV ' thou art thyself a fruit,' (whence the name of this town)^ tut he 
Palni. went angrilj away to Tiruvavinangudi (near the foot of Sivagiri, 
where there is now a considerable temple) and later on to Sivagiri 

When Idumban went to this hill to see why it would not move, 
Subrahmanya was there and was much annoyed at being disturbed. 
He accordingly slew Idumban. Agastya, however, hurried up and 
at his intercession the god restored the demon-servant to life and 
promised that in future the first worship on the Jiill should always 
be performed to him. This is still done — at the little temple to 
Idumban which stands about half way up the steps leading to the 
top of Sivagiri. 

This story in the sthala purdna explains why pilgrims to this 
Palni temple very generally bring with them a Mvadi on their 
shoulders. The custom has since, however, been copied at many 
other shrines to Subrahmanya. The tale also shows, what is in 
other ways clear, that the Tiruvavinangudi temple is older than 
that on Sivagiri. This latter is, indeed, a comparatively 
modern erection. A MS. in the Mackenzie collection, which is 
confirmed by local accounts, states that a Canarese non-Brahman 
Udaiyar first set up a small shrine on Sivagiri, and that for some 
time he conducted the worship in it. Eventually, in the time 
of Tirumala Nayakkan, he was induced by that ruler's general 
Ramappayya, who visited this town, to hand over to the Brahmans 
the actual performance of the puja, and was given in return certain 
duties of superintendence and a right to receive certain annual 
presents and to shoot off, at the Dasara festival, the arrow which 
symbolises Subrahmanya' s victory over Idumban. His descendants 
have ever since performed this rite. Many of them are buried at 
the foot of the steps leading up to the hill. The present heir of 
the family, Bhoganatha Pulippani Patra Udaiyar, is a minor. 

The Tiruvavinangudi shrine is now being completely rebuilt 
by the Chettis, and the new sculpture in it, executed in the fine- 
grained granite quarried on Idumbanmalai, is excellent. There is 
also good modern stone-work in the Siva temple in the middle of 
the town itself, but much of this has been pitiably defaced by the 
greasy oblations which have been poured over it. 

Pilgrims come to the shrine on Sivagiri from all over the 
Presidency and especially from the West Coast. As has been 
said, they usually bring kdvadis with them. Milk and other offer- 
ings are carried in sealed vessels on either end of these, and the 
former is duly poured over the god's image. Fanciful stories are 
current telling how the milk keeps sweet for days and weeks on the 



journey when "brought for this sacred purpose, and how fish cooked OflAP. XV. 

for the god when the pilgrim sets out leap alive from the sealed Palni. 

vessels when thej are opened for the first time before the shrine. 

Messrs. Turnbull and Keys' Survey Account of 1815-16 says 

that in those days if by any chance the T»iilk and so on brought up 

in the sealed kdradts were foundlnot to be fresh, it was held to be 

a sign of the impiety of the pilgrim, who was expected to atone by 

severe bodily penance. Penances are still in fashion at the shrine. 

Pilgrims occasionally take a vow to wear a ' mouth-lock ' for 

several days before going to the temple. This instrument consists 

of a piece of silver wire which is driven through both cheeks, 

passes through the mouth and is fastened outside, in fi-ont of the 

face. Another similar ordeal consists in passing a small skewer 

through the tip of the tongue. 

Curiously enough, Musalmans also believe in the eflScacy of 
prayer to this shrine. Kavutans go to the little door at the 
back (east) of it and make their intercessions and offer sugar in 
the mantapam immediately inside this. They explain their action 
by saying that a Musalman fakir, called Palni Bava, is buried 
within the shrine. 

Palni was formerly the capital of an extensive estate of the 
same name which was one of the 26 palaiyams included in the 
Dindigul province at the time of its acquisition by the Com- 
pany in 1790. According to one of the Mackenzie MSS.,^ the 
original founder of the family was a relation of the ancestor 
of the Ayakkudi poligar and came with him from Ahobilam 
in Anantapur. ' Sinnoba ' (/.e., Chinna Ahobilam) is a name of 
frequent occurrence in the family. He was given an estate by 
Visvanatha Nayakkan and put in charge of one of the 72 bastions 
of Madura. He founded the fort of B^lasamudram, just south of 
Palni, which was thereafter the residence of the family, and he and 
his successors did much for the extension of the Palni temple and 
the improvement of the country. The more recent history of 
the palaiyam has already been referred to on pp. 70 and 183 
above. During his expedition of 1755 Haidar Ali plundered 
it of everything valuable and compelled its owner (who had fled) 
to agree to pay a fine of 1,75,000 chakrams. After the British 
took the country the then poligar, Velayudha Nayakkan, gave a 
great deal of trouble. In 1792 he was plundering in the Coimbatore 
district ; in 1794 he was engaged in open hostilities with his 
neighbour Ayakkudi, who was in some way dependent upon him ; 
and in the next year he took umbrage at a proposal of Government 

^ Local }tecoid8, vol. 42, 499, aud Wilson, 417. 

308 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. to detacli this latter estate and assess it separately, and was reported to have armed 1,000 men and to be marching on Bodinayakkanur. 
On the 7th October 1795 Captain Oliver surprised and captured 
him in his fort at Balasamudram ; and the achievement was con- 
sidered of such importance that Oliver and his detachment were 
thanked in general orders and the jemadar of the party was 
promoted and given a gold medal inscribed ' Courage and Fidelity. 
By Grovernment, 7th October 1795.' ^ 

A week later the poligar, nothing abashed, wrote the Collector 
an indignant letter complaining that Captain Oliver had attacked, 
wounded and confined him, just because he wouldn't pay his 
reshkash. In November, however, the Collector was warned that 
a plan was afoot to kidnap him and keep him in confinement as 
9. hostage for Yelayudha's release ; in December Captain Oliver 
reported that the poligar's Aiyangar ' pradhani ' (chief minister) 
had attacked him in Palni with 800 men ; and in the next month 
this man had to be driven off by a force from Dindigul under 
Colonel Cnppage. In 1796 the estate was forfeited for this rebel- 
lion, and Vela yudha was confined on the Dindigul rock and 
subsequently deported to Madras, where he eventually died. But 
as late as 1799 Yirupakshi, Kannivadi and other poligars were 
conspiring to reinstate his son, Yyapuri, as chief of Palni. 

Kettayambadi : A zamindari lying to the west of Palni 
town and including a considerable area on the slopes of Palni hills. 
According to one of the Mackenzie MSS.^, the original founder 
of the family (who were Tottiyans by caste) fled (with the ancestors 
of the Palui and Ayakkudi poligars) from the Musalmans of the 
north, because these wanted to marry the girls of his caste, and 
took service under the Vijayanagar kings. Like the founders of 
other zamindaris in this district, he afterwards accompanied Vis- 
vanatha on his expedition against Madura and for his services was 
granted an estate. Plis son did much for the temple on Aivarmalai 
above mentioned^ clearing the way up to it, establishing a water- 
pandal for the refreshment of pilgrims and granting the inam 
(still in existence) for the upkeep of the worship in it. His 
successors built Old Eettayambadi and New Hettayambadi (to 
the south of Pappanpatti), both of which have now disappeared. 
The later history of the estate has [already been referred to on 
p. 183. It was in some way dependent upon the Palni palaiyam 
and in 1795 it was paying an annual tribute to the poligar 
thereof. When Palni was forfeited for rebellion in 1796, it was 

^ Wilson's History of the Madras Army, ii, 249. 
^ No. 17-5-52. 


accordingly placed under ilie nianageniont ot' tlie Collector. Ten cilAT. X' 
years later it escheated for failure of heirs (other accounts say Palni. 
it was resumed for arrears) and was sold. It was hought by the 
then poligar of Ayakkudi and still belong's to his descendants. 
But, like the rest of his property, it has now been leased to the 
Ohettis. A permanent sanad for it was granted in 1873. 

V61lir : A village of 4,224 inhabitants lying about ten miles 
east of Palni, which gives its name to a small zamindari which 
was granted a permanent sanad in November 1871 but, since it 
was not in existence prior to the passing of Regulation XXY of 
1802, has not been scheduled as impartible and inalienable in the 
Madras Impartible Estates Act, 1904. The present owner of the 
estate, whose name is Pcrumal Nayakkan, lives in Sattirapatti (a 
hamlet of Velur which contains a sub-registrar's office, a chattram 
and a bungalow belonging to the zamindar in which travellers 
are permitted to halt) and is commonly known in consequence as 
' the Sattirapatti zamindar.' The history of the property lias 
already been referred to on pp. 195-6. In 1806 it was sold 
for arrears and was bought by tlie ancestor of the present 

Virupakshi : Lies 13 miles east ot Palni on tlie bank of 
the Nangdnji ; population 1,911. It possesses the biggest 
weekly market in the district, people from the adjoining Lower 
Palnis flocking to it in large numbers and exchanging the produce 
of their villages for the necessaries whicli the hill country does 
not provide. Adjoining the market is the Forest rest-house, and 
in front of this stands a shrine to Karuppan which is equipped 
with even more than the usual number of pottery horses, etc., and 
of wooden swings. Close by, a road two miles long leads to the foot 
of the Palnis and from the end of this a much-used path runs up 
the slopes to Pachalur and other hill villages. Another path 
branches oft' to tlie two falls of the Nauganji [Kil tahkuttu and 
Mel tahkuttu, as they arc called) the upper of which is so promi- 
nent from the main road to Palni. They are worth seeing. The 
lower one is only some 30 feet high, but the force of the water 
flowing over it is strikingly indicated by the big pot-holes on its 
brow and the deep pool below. Eound about it are several little 
ruined temples to the seveu Kannimdr (virgin goddesses) and 
other deities, which are almost overgrown, now, with jungle. 
Above it, the river is turned into a channel ingeniously carried, 
by blasting and walling, along the steep side of the hill and 
thence to the Perumalkulam. Alongside this cliaunel runs the 
path to the higher fall. This is a wild spot. The river winds 

310 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. down a deep wooded cleft in the great hills and at length tumbles 
Palni. over a sheer cliff of solid rock 150 feet high into a very deep 
rock pool. The cliff consists of a black stone which is oddly 
marbled with white streaks, has been curiously chiselled in several 
places by the great force of the water, and the clefts in which are 
tenanted- by many wild bees and blue pigeons. Beneath it, are 
more rocks, marbled in several colours and worn to a glassy 
smoothness by the river. Even when little water is passing over 
it, this fall is worth a visit and when the Nanganji is in flood the 
scene must be most impressive. As the only good path leads up 
the bed of the river, it would not then however, be an easy place 
to approach. 

Virupakshi was once the chief village of one of the 26 palaiyams 
which made up the Dindigul province when it came into the 
possession of the Company in 1790. The ruins of the ' palace ' of 
the old poligars may still be seen to the east of the road already 
mentioned which runs to the foot of the hills. Captain Ward's 
Survey Account and one of the Mackenzie MSS.^ give the early 
history of their family. The founder of it was one of the Tottiyans 
who fled to Vijayauagar in the circumstances already narrated on 
p. 106 above, came to Madura with Visvanatha's expedition, and 
was granted an estate for his services. A later head of the family 
assisted Tirumala Nayakkan of Madura against the Musalmans 
and was granted the following assortment of rewards, which 
compares oddly with the unsubstantial honours accorded to 
present-day warriors : ' An ornament for the turban ; a single- 
leaved golden torie or diadem ; a necklace worn by warriors ; 
a golden bangle for the right leg ; a chain of gold ; a toe-ring of 
gold ; a palanquin with a lion's face in front ; an elephant with 
a howdah or castle ; a camel with a pair of naggars of metal ; a 
horse with all its caparisons ; a day torch ; a white ensign ; a 
white umbrella ; an ensign with the representation of a boar ; a 
green parasol ; white handkerchiefs to be waved ; white fleecy 
flapping sticks/ 

Another of the line had a vision telling him that the pool 
below the Kil talakuitu was a favourite bathing-place of the 
seven Kannimar, and so he bailt the shi'ine to them there. 
He also made the Perumalkulam^ and doubtless the ingenious 
channel to it already mentioned. His descendants founded 
Pachalur and other villages on the hills and effected many similar 

^ Local Records, vol. 42, 495, and Wilson, 417. 


[n 1755 Haidar attacked the place because the poligar was CHAP. XV. 
in arrears with his tribute, and imposed a fine of 75,000 chak- Palni. 
rams upon it. The later liistorj of the estate has already been 
referred to on pp. 70 and 183. Narrated in detail, it would 
be found to consist chiefly of resistance to the authorities and 
quarrels with the neighbouring palaiyams. After the Company 
obtained the country the poligar, Kuppala Nayakkan, grew 
particularly contumacious. In 1795 he claimed possession of 
Kannivadi, the owner of which had just then died, and rejected 
the Collector's customary presents and barred his march into this 
part of the country. The next year he annexed 22 villages to which 
he had no right. With the weakness which characterised its deal- 
ings with the poligars in those days. Government not only did not 
punish him for this, but actually said he might keep the mesne 
profits up to the date when he (at last) handed them back. This 
leniency did not cause him to mend his ways and in 1801 Colonel 
Innes, who then commanded at Dindigul, had to march against 
him in force.^ On the 21st March Virupakshi and two adjoining 
strongholds were taken without loss and the poligar fled. On 
the 27th his horses, baggage and elephants were seized at Vada- 
kadu (on the hills to tlie east of Virupakshi) and on the 4th 
May he himself was captured. Ward's Survey Account says 
that he and his accomplices were hanged on a low hill near Deva- 
danapatti (7 miles east of Periyakulam) on gibbets the remains of 
which were still visible at the time when he wrote (1821). The 
Mackenzie MSS. say the hanging took place in Virupakshi 
and that 22 members of the family were confined on the 
Dindigul rock. The palaiyam was forfeited. Some descendants 
of the poligar still draw an allowance from Grovernment. 

' History of Madras Army, Hi, 30-2. 

312 MADURA. 



CHAP, XV. This was once called tlie Tenkarai taluk. It is the "biggest in 
Periya- Madura, Lut much of it consists of hill and forest and more than 
half (a higher proportion than in any other taluk) is made up of 
zamindaris. It lies in the south-western corner of the district and 
its limits correspond with those of the beautiful Kambam and 
Varushanad valleys referred to on page 6 above. A long, narrow 
strip of country, running north-east and south-west, is completely 
shut in by the Pahiis and the Travancore hills on the north and 
west, and by the Varuslianad and Andipatti range on the east. 
Down the centre of this run the Suruli and the Vaigai, and the 
Periyar water which now flows into the former of these has 
conferred great prosperity upon the southern part of the taluk, 
much fresh land being brought under wet cultivation and two crops 
being grown on existing rice-land where only one was forjnerly 
possible. Over two-fifths of Periyakulam (a higher proportion 
than in any other taluk except Tirumangalam) is covered with 
black soil, but the land rises rapidly away from the rivers in the 
centre of the taluk and these higher portions consist of red land 
which can only be irrigated from wells. Some of this (that round 
about Andipatti, for example) is dotted with boulder-strewn 
granite hills rising out of wide expanses of dry crops, and bears 
the most striking resemblance to parts of the Mysore plateau. At 
present cholam occupies a larger area than paddy, and over a fifth 
of the assessed land (a higher percentage than in any other taluk) 
is unoccupied. The density of the population is also lower than 
anywhere else, but this is largely due to the existence within the 
taluk of so much hill and forest, and the proportional increase in 
the number of the inhabitants both in the decade 1891-1901 and 
in the thirty years ending with 1901 was higher than in any other 
part of the district. The recent opening out of the neighbouring 
"^Cravancore hills to the cultivation of tea, coffee and cardamoms 
has doubtless had much to do with this growth, as the estates 
export their produce through this taluk and draw most of their 
labour and supplies from it. 

Statistics regarding Periyakulam aj)pear in the separate 
Appendix to this book. The more interesting places in it are the 
following .• — 



Allinagaram : Eight miles south-west of Periyakulam on CHAP. XV. 
the road to Uttamapalaiyam ; population 6,430. Less than two Pkrita- 
miles south of it the Teniyar and Suruli meet, and, after flowing 
together another two miles, join the Vaigai. ALout a mile south 
of the village, at the junction of the main road with the lesser lines 
leading to Bodinayakkaiiiir and Usilampatti, is the rapidly rising 
village of Teni, which ten years ago consisted of little besides the 
chattram originated by the Tevaram zamindar which is still its 
principal building, but now possesses the biggest weekly market 
in all the taluk. 

Andipatti : Ten miles in a direct line south-east from Periya- 
kulam on the road from Teni to Usilampatti ; population 7,899 ; 
contains a chattram, a dispensary and a Siva temple of some 
celebrity in which are inscriptions. It has given its name to the 
range of hills to the east of it, but otherwise is not interesting. 
The land on all sides of it is under dry cultivation, a paddy-field 
being a rarity. 

Anumandanpatti : Two miles south-west of Uttamap£aiyam, 
on the road to the Periyar ; population 2,692. About a quarter 
of a mile south-east of tlio village and east of the read, in the 
middle of a small grove, stands a sculptured stone slab which is 
called annamdrhal, or 'the brothers' stone.' It is between three 
and four feet high and bears a representation of two armed men. 
Facing it is a second stone on which are a few Tamil letters, 
almost obliterated. The villagers say that the brothers were two 
Maravans. They found out that their sister was carrying on an 
intrigue with a man of another caste, lay in wait for her as she 
was coming back from visiting him, and slew first her and then 
themselves. The stone facing the sculptured slab is supposed to 
represent the sister. The stones are now regularly worshipped 
and on the trees around tliem are hung bundles of paddy placed 
there by grateful ryots as a thanksgiving for good harvests. 

Bodinayakkanur : Lies fifteen miles in a straight line 
south-west of Periyakulam at the mouth of a deep valley between 
the Palnis and the Travancore Jlills clown which flows ihe almost 
perennial Teniyar. It is a union of 22,209 inhabitants and the 
head-quarters of a sub-registrar (who is also a magistrate under the 
Towns Nuisances Act) and of the zamindari of the same name. 
The town is a rapidly-growing place, the population having 
increased by 20 per cent, in the decade 1891-1901 and by 69 per 
cent, in the thirty years following 1871. This is due to the fact 
that through it passes the track which goes north-westwards up 
the narrow valley of Kottakudi to the foot of the Travancore 




CHAP. XV. hills and to tlie bottom of the wire ropeway wliicli has been erected 
Perita- ]^y f,he important company which has opened out so much land 

'^^' for tea, coffee, and cardamoms on the Kannan Devan hills in 

Travancore. All the produce of these estates passes down the 
ropeway and through Bodinayakkaniir to the railway at Amma- 
yanuyakkanur, and nearly all the grain and other necessaries 
required for the numerous labourers and staif on the properties 
goes up to the hills by the same route. A proposal to constitute 
the town a municipality has been negatived, see p. 221. 

"^1 he B6dinayalckan6r estate is one of the most ancient in all 
the district. According to the traditions of the family, its original 
founder, a Tottiyan named Chakku Nayakkan, emigrated to this 
part of the world from Gooty in Anantapur district early in the 
fourteenth century, to avoid the Musalmans of the Deccan who 
were then passing soutliwards. A long list of his many successors 
is stiU preserved. He is reputed to have first come to the notice 
of the powers in this country by slaying a ferocious wild boar for 
the destruction of which the Raja of Travancore, who then ruled 
in these parts, had long in vain offered a large reward. He over- 
came it in single combat and brought it half alive and half dead 
to the Kaja, who was so delighted with his prowess that he gave 
him many presents and marks of honour, and conferred this estate 
upon him on condition that 100 pons should be paid each time the 
succession devolved on a new heir. This sign of vassalage has 
survived down to modern times, and whenever a new zamindar of 
Bodinayakkanur succeeds, he sends a present of money to the 
Maharaja of Travancore and receives in return a gold bangle and 
other gifts. On. the last of these occasions (in 1879) an elephant 
was added to these. 

Chila Bodi Nayakkan, who is said to have come into the 
property in 1487, similarly attained fame by his personal strength 
and bravery. He overcame one Malla Khan, an athlete who was 
champion of all the Vijayauagar territory, and the then king 
conferred many fresh honowrs upon him and directed that his 
estate should be known thenceforth as Bodinayakkanur. After 
Visvanatha (p. 41) had conquered the Madura country, the then 
poligar, Bangaru Muttu, was appointed to the charge of one of the 
bastions of the new foi-t at its capital. He was of a devout dispo- 
sition and did much for the Siva temple at Periyakulam, building, 
among other additions, the porch which is still called the Bodina- 
yakkanur mantapam. Another of the line who is still remembered 
is the Eaju Nayakkan who succeeded in 1642. A representation of 
him is sculptured iu the local Subrahmanya temple and his portrait 



appears ia tlie eutranco liall of tlie zamindar's palace. He was so 
devout that wlien a lilind girl went to tlie goddess Minakslii at 
Madura aud prayed to have lier vision restored, that deitj gave her 
back the sight of one eye and told her to go to Eaju Nayakkan 
to get the other cured. The poligar's faith was such that he was 
able to work this miracle, and he was ever afterwards known as 
Kan-kodutta Raju, or ' Raju the eye-restorer.' 

These ancient fables are merely a specimen of more which 
might be added to show the antiquity of the family and the esti- 
mation in which it once was held. Its subsequent doings have 
sometimes been less exemplary. After the Dindigul country fell 
into the power of Mysore, the then poligar refused to pay tribute 
and in 17o5 he was attacked by Haidar Ali and forced to flee. 
His estate was confiscated. Its later history up to the acquisition 
of the Dindigul country by the Company in 1790, when it formed 
one of the 26 Dindigul palaiyams, has already been referred to 
on p. 183. In 179') the then poligar, Tirumala Bodi Nayakkan, 
aided by his neighbour of Yadakarai, resisted the Collector's 
march through this part of the district and fired upon his 
peons. He was reported to have armed over 600 men. He 
subsequently repented and was restored to favour and in 1807 
we find his son helping Eous Peter (see p. 259) in his elejihant- 
shooting expeditions and being presented in return with a gold 
jewel and an elephant-calf. Thereafter the estate remained for 
many years one of the ' unsettled palaiyams ' referred to on p. 19-J. 
In the fifties of the last century the then poligar, Bangaru Tiru- 
mala Bodi, built the existing most effective anient across the 
Teniyar, and he also made the tank which bears his name and the 
zamindars' present palace. He died in October 1862, lea^dng an 
infant son Kamarnja Pandya, and the estate was under the Court 
of Wards until the boy attained his majority in October 1879. 
He was granted a permanent sanad for his property in 1880. He 
is remembered for the great graft mango topes he planted along 
the banks of the Teniyar. After his death in 1888 his widow 
Kamulu Ammal, the present zamindarni, succeeded. 

In 1889 Kandasdmi Nayakkan, her husband's cousin, filed a 
suit claiming the zamindari. In consideration of his relinquish- 
ment of his pretensions, the village of Bhutipuram was granted 
him, and this was separately registered and assessed in 1897. In 
1896, in somewhat similar circumstances, the village of Domba- 
cheri was ordered by the courts to be separately registered and 
assessed. Other litigation as to the possession of the zamindari 
is still proceeding. Until a few years ago the] property was 



316 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. mortgaged witli possession to Mr. .Robert Fisclier of Madura, 
but it has now been redeemed. In 1900 the zaraindarni gave the 


town its present liospital. 

Chinnamantir : Twentj-two miles south-west from Perlja- 
kulam along the road to Uttamapalaijaui ; a prosperous union of 
10,270 inhabitants. It is said to get its name from a Cliinnama 
Najak, who flourished in the time of Queen Mangammal of 
Madura and founded the place and brouglit Bi-ahmans to it. 
Brahmans are still prominent among its inhabitants. So are 
Musalmans, and tliey have a fine new mosque. Much land to the 
west of the village is grown with paddy irrigated from a channel 
from the Suruli river. Half a mile to the north-west, among some 
more rice-fields and surrounded by a grove, is the Eajasimhesvara 
teniple, in which there are several inscriptions as jet undeciphered 
and the car festival at wliich is largely attended. It is said to 
have been founded by a Pandya king named Eajasimha, who 
fled hither to escape a Musalman invasion of his territories. 

D^Vadanapatti : Seven miles east-north-east of Periya- 
kulam, on the road to Ammayanayakkanur ; population 6,310; 
travellers' bungalow. It lies close under the Murugumalai spur 
of the Palnis and from it runs the easiest path to the fine fall of 
the Manjalar on that range. The place is widely known for its 
temple to Kamakshi Amman, the peculiarity about which is that 
its shrine, which must never be roofed with anything but thatch, 
is always kept closed, the worship being done in front of its 
great doors. The pujari (a Tottiyan by caste, who possesses a 
copper record purporting to be a grant to the temple by Tirumala 
Nayakkan) is declared to have a vision telling him when the roof 
needs repairs and he then fasts, enters the shrine blindfolded 
and does what is necessary. 

Devadanapatti was once the chief village of one of the twenty- 
six palaiyams of Dindigul the history of which, up to the acquisition 
of the province by the Company in 1790, has already been referred 
to on p. 183. It was ownerless for many years, was claimed 
by the poligar of Sandaiyiir in 1795 and escheated to Govern- 
ment soon after for want of heirs. The remains of the poligar's 
old fort may still be traced about a mile to the north of the 
village on the right bank of the Manjalar. 

Erasakkanayakkanur : Four miles east of Uttamapalaiyam, 

on no main road ; population 7,079. Chief village of the zamindari 

of the same name, which includes a considerable area at the foot 

f the slopes of the High Wavy Mountain. The correspondence 



regarding the bonndary dispute connected with part of this will be CHAP. XY. 
found in Gr.O., No. 1287, Kevenue, dated 20th November 1882, Periya- 
and the previous papers. The zamindari was one of the 26 kolam. 
palaiyams of Dindigul the history of which has been alluded to on 
pp. 70 and 18-S. After tlie Company acquii'ed that province it 
was foy many years one of tlie ' unsettled palaiyams, ' see p. 194. 
Between 1858 and 1863 it was under the management of the 
Court of Wards. The present proprietor is the widow of the last 
holder and is named Akkalu Ammnl. 

Gantamanayakkanur : A zamindari which includes the 
south-east corner of the taluk and the beautiful Taruslianad valley. 
It was one of the 26 palaiyams of Dindigul, and after the country 
was acquired by the Company continued for many years as one 
of the ' unsettled palaiyams.' Hardly anything seems to be 
on record about its early history, but a fragment among the 
Mackenzie MSS. states that its founder came from the Deccan and 
was placed in charge of one of the bastions of Madura by 
Visvanatha Niiyakkan. 

So mucli of it consists of unprofitable JriLls that it has never 
been in a particularly flourishing condition. In 1795 the Collector 
reported that it was ' in very bad order ' ; Ward's Survey Account 
of 1821 notes that several of the villages lying near the hills 
(Rajadani and Teppampatti for example) showed signs of having 
once been better off, and mentions the constant ravages of the 
elephants in parts of the estate: in 1862 the Collector said that 
the poverty of the soil, the unhealthiness of the country and the 
incapacity of the proprietor had resulted in the ryots being heavily 
in arrear with their assessments and at open enmity with their 
landlord; and finally in April 1896 fifteen of the twenty-one 
villages of tlie estate (the pcslikash on which was Rs. 10,663 out 
of a total of Rs. 13,415) were sold in execution of a decree 
obtained by the Commercial Bank of India and were purchased 
by the Court of Wards on behalf of the minor zamindar of 
Ettaiyapuram in Tinnevelly. In 1897 these were separately regis- 
tered and assessed under the name of the Vallanadi sub-division of 
the estate. Vallanadi (otherwise called Gantamandyakkanur) was 
the capital of the property, and the zamindar has accordingly 
removed his residence to Teppampatti. Ward's Survey Account 
says that in the hills east of this village in a narrow vaDey is a 
stream called Mavuttu {' the mango spring '), which flows down 
from a ruined temple over a fall about 100 feet high, and has the 
property of ' petrifying ' articles placed in it. The liead waters 
f the Suruli are stated to possess a similar power. 




The Varustianad ( ' rain country ') valley is so called from tlie old 
village of that name wliicla stands almost in tlie middle of it, buried 
in the jungle, on the right bank of a fine bend in the Vaigai river 
there. In 1 821 there were still some 30 families living in this place, 
but it is now practically deserted except that a Ravutan who is the 
renter of the forest produce of the valley lives there with his coolies 
for part of the year. Local tradition declares this desolation to be 
the result of a curse pronounced by a shepherd who was cruelly 
ill-treated by a former zamindar, but the malariousness of the 
place is sufficient to account for it. The ruins of old Yarushanad 
include the remains of a temple, a stone-faced tank, a stone oil-mill, 
a stone trough ten feet long and several curious stone pillars 
(mdlai) similar to that referred to in the account of M argaiyankottai 
below, and also several neglected tanks and a breached anient. 
North and north-east of them, similarly overrun with jungle, lie 
the ruins of Narasingapuram, another deserted village, and its 
mouldering fort. 

Gudalur : A union of 10,202 inhabitants, lying about S8 miles 

south-south-west of Periyakulam and five from the head of the 

Kambam valley. East of it is a Forest rest-house. Many of its 

people belong to the Canarese-speaking caste of Kappiliyans. In 

former days, it is said, the town was much larger than it is now, 

and foundations of ruined houses are often dug into in its outskirts. 

Ward's Survey Account of 1821 says that the village was then 

' almost in ruins ' and contained only 30 families. This place and 

Xambam (see below) were of old respectively the chief villages 

of two estates which were included in the 2fi palaiyams of the 

Dindigul province. When Haidar Ali of Mysore marched in 

1755 to reduce the refractory Dindigul poligars to order, the 

owners of these two properties came to his camp and agreed to 

pay their arrears. Both of them broke their promises and fled ; 

and their palaiyams were consequently confiscated and ever after 

remained part of the Sirkar land. When the Company acquired 

the Dindigul country in 1790, the Ea ja of Travancore declared 

(see p. 184) that both estates belonged to him, and a great deal 

of correspondence and trouble occurred before he at last handed 

them over. It appears that the ancestors of the present chief of 

Piiniyar in Travancore held the Gudalur palaiyam, and the Alagar 

temple in the town is said to have been built by them. When, 

last year, it was re-opened after the completion of the recent 

extensive repairs to it, the present chief came down for the 

kunibhdbh ishekam ceremony. 

Kambam: A union of 12,737 inhabitants six miles south- 
south-west of Uttamapalaiyam on the road to the Periyar ; 


travellers' bungalow. A large proportion of its people are CHAP, xv. 
Canarese-speaking Kappiliyans. Local tradition says that the Peuiya- 
Anuppans, another Canarese caste, were in great strength here ^ulam. 
in olden dajs, and that quarrels arose between the two bodies 
in the course of which the chief of the Kappiliyans, Eamachcha 
Kavundan, was killed. With his dying breath he cursed the 
Anuppans and thenceforth they never prospered and now not 
one of them is left in the town. A fig tree to the east of the 
village is shown as marking the place where Eamachcha's body 
was burned ; near it is his tank, the Eamachchankulam ; and 
under the bank of this is his math where his ashes were deposited. 
Not far off is the new cattle shed which the Kappiliyans have 
built for the breeding-herd already referred to on p. 20 above. 

The early history of Kambam is similar to that of Gudalur 
already sketched above. The Puniyar chief is said to have built 
the two dilapidated temples which stand in the ruined fort to 
the east of the town and are now being repaired. One of these 
was originally founded, goes the story, because a goddess 
appeared there to a wandering bangle-seller. She asked him to 
sell her a pair of bangles and he, taking her for an ordinary 
mortal, slipped two on her wrists. To his amazement she then 
held out her other two arms and asked for a second pair for them, 
and he then realized who his customer really was. 

At the northern end of the place, west of the main road, are 
two stones beariug representations of armed men. They are 
apparently memorials to departed heroes, similar to the lirakals 
so common in the Deccan. One of them has been surrounded 
with a brick building and a visit to it is said to be a good remedy 
for malaria. Close by are two kistvaens. In the fields, stands 
a group of five little shrines which are said to mark places where 
satis were committed. 

Kombai : Four miles north-west of Uttamapalaiyam, close 
under the great wall of the Travancore hills which here shuts in 
that side of the Kambam valley; population G,211. The well- 
known Kombai (or ' poligar ') dogs came originally from here and 
can still with some difficulty be obtained. No one takes much 
interest in breedinfjc them now, but old papers say that in days 
gone by the poligars of this part of the country valued a good 
dog so highly that they would even exchange a horse for one. 
On the small hill south of the village which is crowned by a 
conspicuous banyan stands a little shrine near an immense 
overhanging rock, 

320 MADUEA. 

CHAP. XV. The village gave its name to an estate wliicli was one of tlie 

Periya- 26 palaiyams of Dindigul referred to on pp. 70 and 183 above. 
KULA.M. j^g earlj history is unknoven. Unlike the majority of their 
confreres in this district, who are Telugu Tottiyans by caste, its 
poligars were Canarese Kappiliyans, and there is a vague tradition 
that they came from the Mysore country via Conjeeveram. There 
are many members of their caste in the neighbourhood still. After 
the Company acquired the Dindigul province the then poligar, 
Appaji Kavundan, became troublesome, and in May 1795 he 
was stirring up disturbances in this Kambam valley. Eventually 
the estate was resumed and an allowance was granted to 
the dispossessed proprietor. A descendant of his still draws a 

Margaiyankottai :' Four miles north-north-east of Uttama- 
palaiyam ; population 2,929. East of it, under a small brick 
mantapam, is perhaps the best executed of the many ' nidlrxi stones ' 
which are common in these parts and are memorials of the dead 
erected by the T6ttiyans. Mdlai means ' garland ', and the name 
is due to the fact that floral tributes are (or should be) periodically 
placed upon such stones. Most of them are slabs with carving 
« on only one side, but this one is square, and each of its four 

sides bears three sculptured panels one above the other. 

Eound these mdlai slabs is a sort of Tottiyan mausoleum, a 
plain slab being erected whenever a member of the family dies. 
In a small grove in Uttappanayakkanur in Tirumangalam taluk 
is one used only by the Tottiyan zamindars, in which are placed 
the memorial slabs of the zamindars of that village and also of 
Doddappanayakkanur, Jotilnayakkanur and Elumalai. 

Near the Margaiyankottai mdlai stone is a sati stone of the 
pattern usual in this district, representing the husband and 
the devoted wife seated side by side, each with one leg tucked 
under them and the other hanging down. 

Periyakulam : A municipality of 17,960 inhabitants; head- 
quarters of the tahsildar and of a district munsif, a sub-magistrate 
and a sub-registrar ; contains a bungalow belonging to the 
Bodinayakkanur estate which Europeans may occujiy with per- 
mission, and a chattram. Tlie place is most picturesquely situated 
on the palm-fringed banks of the Varahanadi, with the great wall 
of the Palnis immediately north of it. It is an important centre 
for the trade of that range, the foot of the bridle-path to 
Kodaikanal being only five miles to the north of it. The scheme 
for supplying it with water has been referred to on p. 226 above. 



The town consists of three villages, Tenkarai, Vadakarai and CHAP. XV. 
Kaikulankulam, of which the first (as its name implies) is on the Perita- 
south bank of the river and the other two on the north. All these 
are overcrowded and intersected only by narrow lanes, and the 
town has a bad name for cholera. In 1882 a fire swept through 
the huddled liouses and burnt 800 of them with all their contents, 
the heat and smoke preventing any chance of saving property in 
such cramped quarters. New building-sites have, however, been 
recently acquired by the municipality to the east and south and 
are being sold as need arises. There are, however, two pleasant 
roads in the place; namely, those which run westwards to the 
hills on either side of tlie river. The northern of these passes 
through some excellent topes and the other runs along the bank 
of the picturesque river, past the more open quarter where the 
public offices.stand, to the Siva temple (which contains inscriptions 
of Chola times), the Periyakulara ('big tank') which gives the 
place its name (by the north corner of the embankment of which 
stands perhaps the biggest tamarind in the district), and the 
Chidambara tirtham, a small, comparatively modern, stone-faced 
tank supplied through a cow's mouth, which is a popular place 
for the morning's bath. 

T^varam: Seven miles north-west of Uttamapiilaiyam, popu- 
lation 10,293. Chief village of the small zamindari of the same 
name, the present holder of which is Bangaru Ammal, daughter of 
the last proprietor and a Tottiyan by caste. This was another 
of the 20 palaiyams of Dindigul referred to on pp. 70 and 183. 
After the Company acquired that country it remained for many 
years one of the ' unsettled palaiyams ' mentioned on p. 194, but 
it was eventually granted a sanad. 

Uttamapalaiyam : Lies twenty-eight miles south-south-west 
of Periyakulam down the Kambam valley road on the left bank 
of the Suruli, the bridge over which was built in 1893 ; a union 
of 10,009 inhabitants ; station of the deputy tahsildar and of a 
sub-registrar ; travellers' bungalow. The name means ' best estate ' 
and is declared to have been given to the place bj the Pandava 
brothers (less venturesome authorities say by Ilaidar Ali of Mysore) 
in recognition of its excellent position and climate It is the 
first large town down the valley which is benefited by tlic Periyar 
water, and since this was let into the Suruli the i>!aco has rapidly 
increased in wealth, importance and size. The growth in tlo 
population in the ten years ending with 1901 was 22 per cent, and 
in the 30 years from 1871 to 1901 as much as 57 per cent. 


322 MADUKA, 

CHAP. XV. 'JMie Kalahastlsvara temple in tlio town is said to get its name 

Pkriya- from the fact that a fervent devotee of the well-knov.'n shrine at 

■ Kjilahasti in North Arcot was iuformed in a vision that he need no 

longer continue to travel the long journey to that place, since the 
god could Le worshipped at this spot with equal efficacy, lie 
accordingly founded and named this temple. An inscrijDtion in 
tlie building testifies to a gift to it by Queen Mangammal and 
the authorities possess a copper grant in its favour made by 
the last of the iS'ayakkans, the Vangaru Tirumala referred to on 
p. 56 above. Near its main entrance is a stone slab on which is cut a 
figure of Garuda (the celestial kite and enemy of all serpents), two 
crossed triangles with a circle in the middle of them, and certain 
mystic letters. People who were bitten by snakes are declared to 
have formerly derived much benefit from walking thrice round 
this and striking their foreheads against tlie circle after each 
circumambiilation, but a baiidgi moved the stone to see if there 
was any treasure hidden under it, and its virtue has since 

At tlie Draupadi shrine there is an annual fire- walking 
ceremony. Curiously enough^ a Braliman widow is the only 
person who is allowed to give the idols their annual cleansing. 
Near the building is a raantapam said to have been erected by a 
Italian who came to rob it but was struck blind as he approached. 
South of the town, west of the main road and perhaps a quarter 
of a mile from the travellers' bungalow, are two sati stones. 

Just north of it, on the flat face of one of a series of huge 
boulders near the Karuppan temple, is one of the best series of 
sculptures of nude Jain tirthankaras to be found in the district. 
They are arranged in two rows, one above the other, and there are 
long Vatteluttu inscriptions round about them. In the upper row 
are eleven figures, two about eighteen inches high and the others 
rather smaller. Some are standing and others are sitting in the 
usual cross-legged contemplative attitude ; some have hooded 
serpents above their heads and some the trijDle crown ; some are 
unattended and others have smaller figures on either side of them. 
In the lower row are eight more figures of a very similar descrip- 
tion. The space covered by the whole series is some twenty-one 
feet by ten. 

Vadakarai ('north bank') now forms part of that portion 
of Perivakulam municipality wliich lies north of the Varahanadi, but 
it was once the chief village of a palaiyam of the same name. 
According to one of the Mackenzie M SS , the original founder 
of this was Eamabhadra Nayaka, a Balija by caste, who came 



from the Yijajanagar country with Ndg-ama Navakkan (p. 41). CRAP. X7. 

Ho scorns to have been greatly trusted, as lie was appointed Perita- 

to act for the latter while lie was awaj on a jnlgrimage to 

Benares; subsequently helped to arrange niattors between him 

and his son ; and was eventually made collector of the revenue of 

Madui-a. Later on he showed mucli personal bravery in an attack 

on the fort of Kambam, pFpssing forward notwithstanding a 

wound in the face and being the first to plant a flag on the 

ramparts. For this exploit he was granted the Vadakarai estate. 

A successor of his was subsequently given chai'ge of one of the 72 

bastions of Madura. One of the best remembered of the poligars 

who followed is the Mochi Nayaka who succeeded in 15 '9. He 

is said to have obtained an addition to his estate by his prowess in 

shooting an arrow across the Tejipakulam in Madura in the 

presence of Tirumala Nayakkan and all his court, an achievement 

which none of the other poligars could equal. The event is still 

annually celebrated in Vadakarai by a general beat for small 

game (known as ' Mdchi Nayak's hunt') followed by a visit to his 

tomb in Kaikulankulam. A later Mdchi Nayaka is stated in the 

Mackenzie ]\1S. to have helped Tirumala Ndyakkan about 1638 

against the rebellions Setupati of Earanad referred to on p. 48 ; 

and his paternal uncle and successor Nar.iyanappa Nayaka is said 

to have assisted Chokkanatha Nayakkan in his expedition against 

the Tanjore Najakkan mentioned on p. 50. 

When the Mysoreans threatened Dindigul (p. G9). the then 
poligar of Vadakarai summoned a council of his commanders to 
devise measures of defence. It was not a success, as (Jantama- 
nayakkanlir said that Vadakarai was taking too much u]>on him, 
and invad<^d his property and cut off his head (whence the two 
families still decline to dine together), but tradition has it that the 
Mysore people bore the matter in mind and confiscated the 
Vadakarai estate when they eventually captured the country. 

Tlie subsequent history of the palaiyam lias already been 
referred to on pp. 70 and 183. In 1750 its owner assisted 
Bodinayakkanur in opposing the Collector's march through 
this part of the district. In 1859 it was resumed for anrars 
of peshkash and the poligar was granted an allowance which 
descends to tlie eldest son. He had considerable jiroperty 
independently of the pdlaiyam and when, in 1881, his ?on died, 
leaving an heir (the present liolder, M.R.Ry. V. Eamabhadra 
Nayudu) who was a minor, the Court of Wards managed his 
estate until he attained his majority in December 1S94. He has 
since distinguished himself as a patron of education, a' protector of 


324 MADURA. 

CHAP. XV. the T.eautiful topes planted by his forebears in the neighbourhood, 
PsRiYA. an experimenter in scientific awricultare, and the chairman of the 
Periyakulam municipal council. 

Virapandi : Tlurteen miles soutli-soutli-west of Periyakulam ; 
population 3,960. On liigh ground about a mile to the south 
of it, overlooking an anient and bridge (built in 1893) across 
the Suruli, and commanding beautiful views of the Palnis and 
Travancore hills, stands a travellers' bungalow. The land near 
the river is a sheet of rice-fields, but the high ground in the east 
is some of the most barren in the district. The Siva temple, 
which is of no architectural merit, is dedicated to Kannesvara 
Udaiyar, ' the lord protector of eyes,' and the story goes that it 
was built because Yira Pandya, a Pandya king of Madura who 
was blind in one eye, had a vision that if he built it his sight 
would be restored. The king afterwards lived for some time in 
the village and it obtained its present name in consequence. 

The Mariamman shrine near the bridge over the Suruli is 
famous throughout the taluk, and at its annual festival great 
crowds assemble and very many fowls and goats are offered up. 
Ward's Survey Account of 1821 says that in those days hook- 
swinging took place at it. Another village in the district where 
this ceremony was once regularly performed is NaUamaram in the 
south of the Tirumangalam taluk. The last swinging there 
occurred only a dozen years ago. 




This lies in the centre of the southern side of the district and CHAT. XV. 

is hounded on the west by the Yarushandd and Andipatti range Tjku- 

and on the north and north-east by the Nagamalai. It drains 

south-eastwards into the Cundar. It is an uninteresting, level 

plain, broken only by a few isolated granite liills, of which over 

three-fifths (a far higher j)roportion than in any other taluk) are 

covered with the fertile black cotton-soil. Cotton is accordingly 

the chief crop of the taluk and occupies over a quarter of the 

cultivated area. Thirty per cent, of the dry land in Tiruraanga- 

1am is assessed at as much as Es. 2 per acre and another 22 per 

cent, at Ee. 1-8-0, while of no other taluk in the district is 

more than 5 per cent, assessed at Ee. 1-8-0 or over. Only 10 

per cent, of the assessed area is unoccupied. On the other hand 

there are practically no i negation channels in the taluk and very 

few wells ; and consequently much less of it is protected against 

adverse seasons than is the case in any other part of the district. 

The taluk suffered severely in the great famine of 1876-78 and 

between the censuses of 1871 and 1881 its inhabitants decreased 

by over 15 per cent. The growth in the population in the period 

between 1871 and 1001 was smaller than in any other part of the 

district and in the decade 1891-1901 the number of the people 

remained practically stationary. 

Anaiyur: Three and a half miles east of Usilampatti. 
Formerly a village of note, it is now only a hamlet of Katta- 
karuppanpatti. A considerable Siva temple (which in general 
plan resembles on a larger scale that at Vikkii'araangalain referred 
to below) and crumbling walls and hou.«es to the west of this 
testify to the byegoue importance of the place. The name 
means ' elephant village ' and the story goes that Indra's celestial 
white elephant (which was turned into an ordinary biack one for 
trampling under foot a garland given Indra by a rishi) recovered 
its colour and high estate by bathing in the golJen-lily pool 
attached to the temple hero, lived in the village afterwards and 
eventually died within the shriao. The temple is consoqnently 
dedicate! to Airavatesvara, or ' Siva of the white elephant.' In 
1877, it is said, some fragments of ivory wore unearthed within 
tJie building and served, in popular estimation, to put the story 
beyond the possibility of question. Anaiyur was formerly iv 

326 MADT'RA. 

C'lAP. XT. great strongliold of tlie western Kalians, and figures prominently 
'^'^^- in this conncctioa in the old reports. The country round about 
it IS still largel}' peopled with this casto. 

Doddappanayakkanur : Chief^ village of the zamlndari 
of the sauie nanio ; stands in the Anlipatti piss through the 
Andipatfci hills ; popiilatio.i 6,534. The zamiudari consists of two 
villages some 20,000 acres in extent, of which over 11,000 acro3 
are made up of forest oa the Doddappanayakkanur hill, 3,445 
feet in elevation. It was one of the 'unsettled palaiyams ' 
referred to on p. 194, but a sanad was eventually granted for it. 
The present proprietor, Kalirasvami Doddappa Nayakkan, suc- 
ceeded to the estate on the death of his father on 15th November 
1004, and is a minor under the guardianship of his mother. 
The property is \erj heavily in debt, but has not yet been 
actually mortgaged. 

Elumalai : Twenty miles west by north of Tirumangalara, 
near the foot of the Andipatti hills ; population 5,414. It is the 
principal village of the small zamindari of the same name. This 
was purchased from the last holder, Errachinnamma Nayakkan, 
by the present proprietor Vadaraalai Tiravanada Sundaradasa 
Tevar (who is a relation of the zamindar of Settur in Tinnevelly 
district and lives in that village) and was registered in his name 
in May 1895. As it has passed from the family of the original 
owners, it is not scheduled in the Impartible Estates Act, 1904. 
Nor has any sanad apparently been granted for it. 

Jotilnayakkanur : Seven miles south by west of Usilam- 
patti; population 1,413. Chief village of the small zamindari of 
the same name, which contains two villages about o,.5(>0 acres 
in extent of which 3,600 acres are forest. This was one of the 
'unsettled palaiyams' referred to on p. 194, but a sanad was 
eventually granted for it. The zamindars are Telugu Tottiyans by 
caste and their family name is Jotil Nayakkan. The present 
proprietor, Gurun^tha Jotil Nayakkan, is a minor under the 
guardianship of his mother and succeed'^d on the death of hii 
father in October 1902. 

Kalligudi: Nine miles south by west of Tirumangalam ; 
population 3,270 ; sub-registrar's office, railway-station and local 
fund chattram. The place is a centre for cotton, which is grown 
on the black soil round about it. In the low hills to the west 
of it a very beautiful granitoid gneiss is quarried, which is pale 
greyish or pinkish- white in colour and banded with laminns 
consisting mainly of rather pale red or pink garnets of small size 
with a few spangles of mica. 


Kilakkottai: Tlirco miles soutli by ca-t of Tiriniian;.'a!am ; CHAP. XV. 
population OlJU. Chief villag-e of the small zamindari of the name, Tiru- 

which is only some 1 ,750 acres in extent. This was anotlier of the "'^ ^"'^'' ^'^' 
' unsettled palaiyams ' and a sanad was granted for it in 187*2. It 
is not Eclieduled in the Impartible Estates Act as it has passed 
from the family of the original proprietors. In 1886 it was 
registered in the joint names of Sutajipa Chetti and Muttu Ra vutar 
Kavundan, who owned, respectively, two-thirds and one-third of 
it. Subsequently the former sold his share to the latter, and 
the wliole estate was registered in this latter's name in October 
1894. The property has since passed to one Anndmalai Chetti of 

Kovilankulam : Twenty miles in a direct line from Tiru- 
mangalam in the extreme south of the taluk; population 2,180. 
West of it is a slab of black stone on which is carved an image of 
one of the Jain tirthankaras about 01 feet high and 2 feet broad. 
The figure is represented sitting in the usual cross-legged con- 
templative attitude and is worshipped by the villagers. 

Kuppalanattam : Eleven miles due west of Tirumangalam ; 
population 920. Noteworthy for more Jain antiquities. On the 
northern face of the hill called Poigaimalai, about a mile south- 
west of the village, is a natural cave at the entrance of which are 
carved in relief on the rock a series of Jain tirthankaras. They 
are in three groups. The first contains four figures measuring 
about 2 feeb by 1|- feet represented in the usual sitting position, 
with triple crowns above their heads and attendants on either 
side. The second group is made up of three standing figures and 
one seated, which measure about four inches by three inches and 
are again adorned with the triple crown. The third group com- 
prises a standing image, about a foot liigh, with an attendant on 
either side of it. The place is called the Samanar-kovil or ' Jains ' 
temple ', but the images are regularly worshipped and are, indeed, 
so smeared with oil that the details of them can with difficulty 
be made out. On the top of the Poigaimalai is an insignificant 
Vishnu shrine. 

Melakkottai : Two miles south by west of I'irumangalam ; 
population 1,007. Chief village of the small zamindari (about 
1,800 acres in extent) of the same name. This was another of the 
'unsettled palaiyams ', but a sanad was granted for it in 1872. 
The zamindars'are Canarese Anuppans by caste, and their family 
name is Surappa Ivavundan. 'J lie present proprietor, Immadi 
Achurama Surappa Kavundan, succeeded to the estate in 1874 
and in 1898 mortgaged it to K. Eanga Eao, a Brahman landholder 
of Madura. 


328 MADUKA. 

C n A i'. XV. Nadukkottai : Two miles soutli of Tirumangalam ; population 

TiKC- 2C3. Cliiof village of another small zamindari (about 2,000 acres 
in extent) wliicli was alsp one of tlie ' unsettled pdlaiyams.' The 
zamindars are again Anuppans by casts and their family name is 
Periya S6rappa Kavundan. The estate is now leased to the same 
gentleman wlio holds Melakk6ttai. 

P6raiyiir : Seventeen miles south-west of Tirumangalam ; a 
union with a population of 3,540 ; sub-registrar's office and 
chattram. It is the chief village of the zamindari of the same 
name. 'J his estate and ^andaiyur and Saptur referred to below 
were transferred from the Tinnevelly district in 1859 and their 
liistory differs somewhat from that of the other zamindaris in 
Mad.ura. The Tinnevelly palaiyams were permanently settled 
early in the last century, the peshkash ranging from 5 i to 57 per 
cent, of the computed income of the larger estates and from 41 
to 49 per cent, of that of the smaller ones in which the expenses 
of management were relatively heavier. Further details will be 
found in the Appendix to the well-known Fifth Report of the 
Committee on the affairs of the East India Company. 

Peraiyur is the second largest zamindari in the taluk, compris- 
ing 80 villages with an area of about 21 square miles. The 
proprietors are Telugu Tottiyans by caste and their family 
appellation is Tumbichi Nayakkan. The hill near Pei-aiyur which 
goes by this name is called after them. The present holder, 
Nagayasvami Tumbichi Nayakkan, succeeded in 1889. 

Puliyankulam : Thirteen miles south-south-west of Tiru- 
mangalam ; population 1,160. Chief village of the small 
zamindari known as Madavanayakkanur, alim Puliyankulam, nlia% 
Madavandyakkanur-Puliyankulam. This comprises three vil- 
lages and is about 2,700 acres in extent. It was another of the 
'unsettled palaiyams' and was granted a sanad in 1872. The 
proprietors are Tottiyans by caste and their family name is 
Madava Nayakkan. The present proprietor has leased the estate 
to oneKantimatinatha Pillai of Tinnevelly. 

Sandaiyur ! Twenty miles south-west of Tirumangalam ; 
population 1,881. Chief village of the zamindari of the name, 
which comprises fifteen villages aggregating about 8,700 acres in 
extent. This was one of the three estates transferred from 
'J'innevelly and mentioned in the account of Peraiyur above. A 
sanad was granted for it in 1804. The then zamindar having 
protested against tlie peshkash proposed, the estate was taken 
under Grovernmcnt mauagement for some time in order that its 
capabilities might be ascertained with accuracy. The present 
holder, Krishnasvami Kulappa Nayakkan, succeeded in 1898. . 



Sa>ptur: About 22 miles west-south-west of Tirumangaiaiu ; OHAP. XT. 
population 2,649. The chief village of the zamindari of the same Tiro- 
name, which is the largest in the taluk and comprises an area of 
about 123 square miles including a large portion of the eastern 
slopes of the Varushanad hills. 

Until 1859 the estate belonged to the Tinnevelly district, and 
(as already stated in the account of Peraiyur above) its history 
differs from that of other Madura zamindaris. In 1795 ^ the then 
poligar, who went by the family name of Kamaya Nayakkau, 
withheld his tribute and committed other irregularities and his 
estate was accordingly taken from him and managed by the 
Collector. He fled to the neighbouring hills and from thence so 
intimidated and harassed the inhabitants of the palaiyam and the 
officials who were administering it that in 1799 Mr. Lushington, 
Collector of Southern Poligar Peshkash, with the concurrence of 
Government, offered a reward for his capture. He was seized in 
July 1800 and after a formal trial by a special board of officers, 
was convicted and executed in October of the same year. The 
estate continued for some years more under the Collector's 
management and in 1803 was restored to the late poligar's son, 
to whom a sanad was granted, on a fixed peshkash. 

lu January 1886, on the death of the then zamiudar, the 
property was placed under the Court of Wards owing to the 
minority of the heir. This boy died at Madras of an hereditary 
taint on the last day of 1887 and was succeeded by liis younger 
brother R.araasv4mi Kamaya Nayakkan. The latter came of age 
in 1902 and was then placed in possession of the property, which 
he now holds. The zamindari is admittedly impartible (see the 
case reported in I.L.R.., XVII Madras, 424) and has been 
scheduled as such in the Impartible Estates Act, 1904. 

Tirumangalam : Head-quarters of the taluk and a union of 
8,894 inhabitants ; stands on the north bank of the Guudar 
thirteen miles by road south-west of Madura, is a station on the 
railway and possesses a sub-registrar's office, local fund dispen- 
sary, travellers' bungalow, chattrams, a large weekly market on 
Fridays and a station andchurch of the American Mission. The 
Madura Minakshi Ginning and Pressing Co. erected a factory 
here to deal with the local cotton (for the export ot which 
Tirumangalam is a centre), but it was a failure and is to be sold. 
Arya Natha Mudali established a number of Tondaimandalans 

^ See Mr. Luihington's letter in the Fifth Koport ol the Select Committee on 
the affairs of the East India Company, 




310 MADVXA. 

CHAP. XV. Vell^la* here at tlie same time as he founded the similar oolonj at 
Solavandan referred to in the account of that place above, and 
several families of this caste still live in the town. The anti- 
quities of the place include seven nameless sati stones of the usual 
pattern (some placed in small masonry buildings) among the 
dry fields just north-west of the travellers' bungalow; a few 
pyriform tombs (similar to those mentioned in the account of 
Anuppanadi above) at Senkulam, about a mile to the north-west 
of the town ; and a small mantapam, called the nagard (drum) 
mantapam. This last is said to have been one of a series which 
Tirumala Nayakkan established all along the road from Madura 
to his palace at Srivilliputtur, and j)rovided with drummers to pass 
the word as soon as the god at Madura had had his meals, so 
that Tirumala could begin his own. 

Usilampatti : Seventeen miles north-west of Tirumangalam ; 
a union of 6,335 inhabitants and the head-quarters of the deputy 
tahsildar and a sub-registrar ; contains a good chattram. The 
Wednesday market here is the most important in the taluk and 
the second largest (next to that at Virfipdkshi) in all the district. 
It is held in a large tope, on one side of which a good range of 
stalls has been erected, and is attended by people from as far off 
as Solavandan, Tirumangalam and Periyakulam. The town is a 
comparatively modern place, and owes its new importance to its 
being the deputy tahsildar's station and possessing this large 

Uttappanayakkanur : Five miles north of Usilampatti; 
population 3,828. Chief village of the small zamindari of the 
name, which is about 26 square miles in extent. This was one 
of the ' unsettled palaiyams ' referred to on p. 194, but was 
granted a sanad in 1880. It was under the management of the 
Court of Wards from 186t3 to 1879, The present proprietor, 
Muttukrishnasvami Uttapa Nayakkan, is the brother of the last 
holder and succeeded in 1897. 

Vikkiramangalam : Fourteen miles in a direct line north- 
north-west of Tirumansfalam ; population 2,596. In its hamlet 
Kovilpatti stands a ruined Siva temple which contains some of 
the best stone-carving in the district and is on the list of build- 
ings conserved by Government, In this are several inscriptions, 
translations of some of which have been published,^ but they do 
not show the age of the building. The lingam is usually kept 
in a private house in the village and is only placed in the shrine 

' B«« r«pori of kke GoT«riimeni Epigr&phisi for 169i. 

aAlKTTBBK. 381 

on special occasions. The whole of the outer walls and basd CHAP, xr, 
of this shrine are sculptured with much elegance of design Tibu- 

and minuteness of detail and it is surrounded on botli sides and '''^ ^"^^ *"' 
beliind with o. prdkdra (arcade) supported ou twelve well-carved 
pillars. In front of it is a portico upheld by four piers and a 
mantapam containing twelve more in three rows of four each. 



Note, — The italic letters in brackets printed immediately after the names of nlacos 
etc., refer to the squares of the map in the pocket within which the places, etc., will be 


Abdul-wahab Khan, Gl. 
Abhiramiamman, 233. 
Abiral Khan Sahib, G7. 

Abkari, 21]. 

Acacia arabica, 134. 

Acacia leucophlsea, 134. 

Acacia melanoxylon, 140. 

Acacia planifrons, 137. 

Achyuta, king of Vijayanagar, 40, 233. 

Achyuta Kama Kavundan, 279. 

Acrocarpus fraxinifolius, 138.' 

Adam's Bridge, 158. 

Adimtilam Pillai, 293. 

Adina cordifolia, 140. 

Aditya Karikala, 31. 

Adi-vettai, 91. 

Administration, of land revenue, 179-209 ; 
of jastioe, 214-219. 

Adnkkam pass {Cd), 250, 251. 

Agamudaiyans, 21G. 

Agaram (X>c), 229. 

Agastya, 305, 306. 

Agastyamalai, 32. 

Aggamalai {Bd), 138, 139, 249. 

Agriculture, 112-121, 144. 

Agriculturists, economic coudition of, 130. 

Ahobila Kondama l^ayakkau (two poligars 
of this name), 302. 

Ahobila i^arasimha shrine, 295. 

Ahobilam, 43, 301, 307. 

Ailur, hills, 9, 137 ; village {Ec), 158. 

Airavadanallur (ii'el, 151. 

Airavatesvara, 325. 

Aivarmalai {Be), 300, 308. 

Aiyampalle, anient, 125 ; former taluk, 
206, 300; village {Gc), 305. 

Aiyanar, 85, 102, 231. 

Aliil, 140. 

Akkalu Ammal, 317. 

.\!agar temple, at Tadikkombu, 242 ; and 
Giidalur, 318. See also Alagarkovil. 

Alagarkovil {Fd) temple, 84; weapons 
presented to Karuppan at, 85 ; shaving 
of children at, 86 ; ex voto offerings to, 
8G ; inams to, 198 ; jewels given l>y Rous 
Peter to, 259 ; unfinished gopuram at, 
271 ; visit to Madura of god from, 273, 
285; described, 282; sacred to Kalians, 

Alagarmalais {Fd), described, 9 ; geology 
of,' 15; bison on the, 23; forests on, 
137 ; view from Tiruvddiii- of, 289. 

Alagia-nachiamma, 86. 

Alagiri Nayakkan, 51. 

Alam Khan, 60, 61. 

Albert Victor, Priuce, 157. 

Albert Victor hospital, 171. 

Albizzia amara, 137, 142. 

Alkaline soils, 115. 

Alla-ud-din, 37, 2G5. 

Allinagaram {Cd), 11, 159, 313. 

Amai-avati river, tributaries of, 10 ; irriga- 
tion from, 124; drainago area of, 125; 
ruined bridge across, 157; valley run- 
ning to, 249. 

Amayappa Kone, 92. 

Ambalakdran, 94. 

Ambattans, 145. 

Ambaturai {Dc), history of palaiyam, 70, 
183 ; weaving at, 145 ; proposed road to, 
156 ; desci'ibed, 229. 

Ambtir, 60. 

American Mission, history ot, 77 ; its work 
awiong the Pulaiyans, 105 ; medical 
institutions maintained by, I7l ; first to 
reintroduce systematic education, 175; 
educational institutions of, 176-178; 
periodicals issued by, 178 ; its church 
at Dindigul, 232; sanitarium at Kodai- 
kanal established by, 250, 251; its 
church at Kodaikanal, 252 ; its work at 
Pasumalai, 278 ; Meliir, 288; and Tiru- 
mangalam, 329. 

Amir-un-nissa IJegam, 234. 

Ammayanayakkaiiur village {Dd], quartz 
veins near, 15 ; Yangfiru Tirumala 
defeated at, 58 ; Valaiyans at, 98 ; 
railway-station at, 152, 246 ; route to 
Kodaikanal from, 156 ; tramw.ay pro- 
posed from, 159; described, 292. 

Ammayauayakkandr zamiudari, Sirumalais 
included in, 8 ; historj of, 70, 183 ; 
forests of, 134, 136, 137 ; sanad granted 
to, 195 ; described, 292. 

Ampthill, Lord, 131. 

Ampthil] Downs, 139. 

Amrat Mahal cattle, 22. 

Ainusemeuts, 83. 

Anaikunnu pool, 256. 

Auaimalai, 15. 254. 

Anaiyui- (De), Kalians of, 93, 184, 196, 326; 
de«cribed, 326. 



Xndipatti {Ct), hill r&ng* near, 6, 1S6 ; 
land-gronse near, 22 ; irrigation minor 
basin at, 1J4, 125; forest near, 136; 
dispensary at, 173 ; former taluk, 184 ; 
described, 313, 

Andro'pogon citratum, 141. 

Andropogon Wightiana, 18. 

Andropogon zeylanicus. 18. 

Anicnts, 124, 125, 315. 

Annamalai Chetti, 327. 

Annamdrkal , 313. 

Anogeissus latifolia, 138, 140. 

Antiquities of the district, 24, 233, 247, 
256, 288. See also Jains. 

Anumandanpatti (-Be), 313. 

Anuppanadi, channel, 167 ; ■village {Ee), 
210, 256. 

Annppans, 73, 109, 319, 327, 328. 

Anvrar-nd-din, 59, 60. 

Appaji Kavnndan, 320. 

Appiji Pillai, 186. 

Appaya Nayakkau of Kanniv&di, 239. 

Aquilaria agullocha, 140. 

' Ar ' leaf, 29. 

Arai-UtUdai, 197, 200. 

Aramanaiknlam tank, 235. 

Aravakurichi district, 302, 303. 

Ai'dha-maniyam, 197, 200. 

Ardhanarisvara, 280. 

Arittapatti (FrZ), 286. 

Aritiyur, sub-divieion of Nattukdttai 
Chettis, 100. 

Arkonam, 31. 

Arrack, 153, 211. 

Arts and industries, 144-151 . 

Arunachala Chetti, M.E.Ej. A. L. A. E., 

Arundinella mesophyUa, 18. 

Aruppukottai, 97. 

Arya Natha Mudali, 42, 43, 271, 296, 329. 

Arya Nayakka Mudali. See Arya Natha 

^ Mudali. 

Asari, 99. 

Asoka, 26. 

Assessments, rates of, 116, 122. 

Attapanpatti (D6), 304. 

Attu-kal-pdshanam , 108. 

Attur, dam, 125; ghat, 5, 156, 230, 246; 
village (Dc), 86, 230. 

Augustus Csesar, 26. 

Aurangzeb, 53. 

Auvaiyar, 28, 81. 

Avdrum leaves, 115. 

Avenues, 54, 155, 221. 

Avakkudi (Cc), Kuunuvans helped by the 
Voligar of, 103; forests of, 134, 136; 
dupatis made at, 145 ; sequestered by 
Saiyad SShib, 183 ; hostilities of Palni 
poligar irith, 185, 307 ; rebellious atti- 
tude of, 185; sanad granted to, 195; 
crude saltpetre made near, 211 ; union, 
220; chattr-'.m built by poligar family 
of, 241 ; described, 301 ; Eettajambadi 
purchased by poligar cf, 309. 

Ayyampalaiyam, river, 12 ; anicut, 135 ; 
Tillage (Pd), 156, 220, 331. 

Babul, 134. 

Boighayat land, 188. 

Bairdgis, 213. 

Balasamndram (Cc), 305, 307, 308. 

Balfour's Report on Iron ores, 287. 

Balijas, 151, 322. 

Ballads in honom* of Eous Peter, 259. 

Bamboos, 151. 

Bangalore, 48, 110. 

Bangaru Amnial, 321. 

Bangaru Muttu Nayakkan, 314. 

Bangaru 'I'irumala Bodi Nayakkan, 315. 

Bangles, 151. 

Banyan tree, 259, 288, 319. 

Barley, 5. 
j Basavanua, 110. 
I Basavis, 104. 

Basins, distribution of irrigation worka 
among, 124. 

Basket-making, 151. 

Bastions of the Madura fortifications, 42, 

Batlagundu. See Vattilagundu. 

Baynes, Mr. C. E., 251, 253. 

Beans, 117. 

Beddome, Colonel, 16, 132. 

Bees, wild, 31C. 

Begampur, 150, 235. 

Bell-metal vessels, 151. 

Bench courts, 215. 

Bengal gram, 118. 

Berijam project, 125, 226. 

Beschi, 76. 

Betel-vine, 79, 113, 114, 198, 303. 

Bhang, 213. 

Bhogauatha Pulippani Patra Udaiyar, S06. 

Bhtitipuram estate (Bd), 315. 

Bijapnr, 46, 51, 53. 

Birki Venkata Eao, 69, 181, 23G. 

Bishoj^ric of Tvichinopoly, 77. 

|;ison, 23 

Black gram, 118. 

Blackader's Archseologia, 281. 

Blackburne, Mr. John, roads improved bj, 
154 ; distributes famine relief from 
Madura temple fnnds, 162; ryotwari 
system introduced into hill villages 
by, 205 ; memorial lamp to, 228, 267 
bungalow built at Kodaikanal by, 251 
his improvenients to Madura, 266 
demolished the walls of Tirumala 
Nayakkan'a palace, 276. 

Blackwood, 136, 137, 138, 140. 

Blanket-making, 145 

Bliss, Sir Henry, 261 . 

Bloomstrand, Eev. Th., 79 note. 

Blue gum, 140, 251. 

Board of Assumed Eevenne, 69. 

Bodiuayakkanrir (Ed), schools at, 81, 178; 
jungles in, 134, 136 ; trade centre, 152; 
road to, 155 ; proposed railway through, 
159; hospital at, 172; resumed by Tipu 
but restored by the English, 183 ; poligar 
opposes the Collector, 185 ; sanad 
granted to, 195, 196 ; special magistrata 

1 VUBX. 


at, 215 ; «ub-registrar at, J15 ; anion, 
220; miiniciinility proposed for, 221 ; 
elepliants in the liills near, 250; Palni 
polijrar marches against, 308 ; described, 
313; poligar assisted by Vadakarai 
chief, 323. 

Bogari tax, 190. 

Bombay, silk from, I4(i ; salt from, 210. 

Bombay Gazetteer (i, pt. 2), 29 note. 

Bommayya, 107. 

Bommi, 85. 

Boskanna, 110. 

Botany, 15. 

Bonnciaries of the district, 1. 

Bonrne, Dr. A. G. and Mrs., 16. 

Bow, 28. 

Brahmans, their education under Nayakkan 
rule, 175 ; land granted free to, 199 ; 
toddy shops owned by, 212 ; their part 
in the Attvir festival, 231 ; numerous in 
Madura town, 257 ; and in Chinnamanur, 

Brass vessels, 151. 

Bridges, 154, 156, 222, 226, 258. 

Bridle-paths, 5. 

Brocken, spectre of the, 249. 

Buckley, Williavp, 234. 

Buffaloes, 81, 86, 151,230. 

Building-stone, 15. 

Bullocks, 107, 123, 179, 100. 

Burma, 31, 100, 146. ■ 

Burnell, Dr., 2, 168. 

Cabinet-making, 178. 

Calcntta, 146. 

Caldwell, Bishop, on the antiquity of the 
Pandya kingdom, 26; its wealth and 
magnificence, 37 ; its connection with 
the Vij ay anagar power, 39; the authority 
of the writings on the Nayakkan period, 
40; Tirnmala Nayakkan's palace, 49; 
the character of Jfdyakkan rule, 58; the 
end of Muhammad Yusnf, 67; and on 
the administration of the Committee of 
Assigned Revenue, 68 ; house occupied 
at Kodaikanal by, 251 ; land for church 
at Kodaikanal granted to, 253. 

Caldwell, Sir James, 126. 

Calliand, Captain, 63. 

Cambu, staple food, 83 ; area under, 113, 
114; methods of cultivation of, 117, 
118, 119 ; standard dry grain, 203. 

Campbell, Captain E. A., 8, 149. 

Campbell, Major Charles, 07. 

Campbell-Johnston, Mr. P. F., 264. 

Canals, irrigation from, 121, 123. 

Canarese, 73, 145. 

CanoB, Bishop A., 77. 

Cardamom Hills, 3. 

Cardamoms, on the Lower Palnis, 4, 111, 
138; on the Sirumalais, 8, 114; minor 
foreit produce, lil ; export of, 161. 

Carnatio, 68, 69,71, 

Carter, Mr. Vandyke, 170. 

Cassm auricnlata, 115, 141. 

Caste disiaites, 214. 

Castes, 87-111, 152, 216. 

Castor, 117, 150. 

Catalogue Raisonn6 of Oriental Manu- 

scripts, 40. 
Cattle, on the Palnis, 4 ; described, 20 ; 
penning of, 81 ; jallikats with, 83 ; theft 
of, 90 ; fair at Madura, 273 ; breeding 
of, 319. * 

Causeways, 157, 222. 
Cauvery i-ivcr, 10. 
Cedar tree, 138. 
Cedrela ioona, 138. 
Cemetery, at Dindigul, 231; Kodaikanal, 

252, 253 ; and Madura, 260. 
Ceylon, invaded by the Pandvas. 30; 
conqnered by Rajaraja, 31; invaded by 
Parantaka I, 31; revolts against the 
Cholas, 32; regains its independence, 
32; takes part in the struggle for 
Pandya throne, .33-34; defeated by 
Kulottunga III, 34; invaded by Jata- 
varman Sundara-Pandya I, 30; con- 
quered by Kumara Krishnappa Nayak- 
kan, 43 ; emigration to, 72, 130, 102, 
163 ; Jaffna Mission in, 77; stolen cattle 
sent to, 90; Nattukottai Chettis do 
business in, 100; proposed railwar to. 
158. ' 

Chakala Nayak, 293. 
Cbakkiliyans, 80, 107, 230. 
Chakku Nayakkan, 314. 
Chalakyas of Badami, 29. 
Chalukyas, Western, 31. 
Champakanur(r<i), 246. 
Champenois, Monsignor, 76. 
Chanda Sahib, bis expedition to the south, 
57-58 ; taken captive to Satara, 59 ; 
regains his liberty and again marches 
south, 60; made Nawab of Arcot, 60 ; 
te.mple lands seized by, 108 ; places his 
brother in charge of Di'ndigul, 23(5 ; wins 
battle at Ammayanayakkanur, 292. 
Chandlftr, Rev. J. S.,77 noto; and J. E.,78. 
Chandragiri, 44. 
Cbai'nockite, 15. 
Chattram lands, 197, 200. 
Chattrama, 157, 241, 258, 313. 
Chaturagiri (Cf), 7. 
Cltdvadi nf the village, 81. 
Chay-root, 147. 

Ch^ras, origin of, 25 ; defeated by Nedun- 
cheliyan II, 27 ; emblem of, 28 ; Ugra- 
peru-valuti friendly to, 28 ; their rela- 
tions with Pallavns and Chalakyas, 29 ; 
revolt against tlie Cholas, 32;' Pandya 
king defe;ited by, 38. 
Cheroots, 149, 151. 
Cherry's bungalow, 261. 
Chester, Rev. E., 78, 172. 
Chester hospital, 172. 

Chettis, 4, 162. 8e« also Nattuk6tt»i 



Chidambara Chetti, 279. 

Chidambaram, 2G7, 280, 2-Jl. 

Chikka D6va Raya, 52. 

Chila Bodi Nayakkaa, 314. 

Chinna Kambalattar, 103. 

Chinna Kattira Nayakkan, 239. 

Chiuna tjliyam Parivarams, 102. 

Chinnakalayamuttnr {Be), 25, 303. 

Chinnalu Nayak, 293. 

Chinnama Nayak, 316. 

Chinnamaii'cLr, anient, 123 ; village {Be), 

159, 220, 316. 
Chisholm, Mr., 260, 264, 277. 
Chittanai dam, 12, 42, 124, 125. 
Ghlnroxylon Swietenia, 137, 142. 
Chddas, 26. 

Chokkalinga Nayakkan, 42. 
Cbokkanatha Nayakkan, 42, 49, 50, 274, 

Cholam, grown for fodder, 20 ; staple food, 
83; area under, 113, 114; methods of 
cultivation, 117, il8 ; standard dry 
grain, 203. 
Cholantaka-Chaturvediraangalam, 296. 
Ch61a-Pandyas, 32, 33. 

Chclas, origin of, 25 ; mentioned in As^ka's 

inscriptions, 26 ; defeated by Nednn- 

oheliyan II, 37 ; saciilice performed by, 

28 ; emblem of, 28 ; their relations with 

Pallavas and Clialakyas, 29 ; subject to 

Pandyaa, 30 ; their subsequent rise, 30 ; 

defeated by Rashtrakdtas and Pandyas, 

31 ; regain their power, 31, 32 ; take part 

in the straggle for Pandya throne, 33 ; 

their power reduced, 33 ; decline of their 

power, 34; conquered by Mara\arman 

Snndara- Pandya I, 35 ; end of the power 

of, 36 ; dispossess the Pandya king, 41 ; 

their king said to have oppressed Nattu- 

kottai Chettis, 100 ; defeated by the 

Pandyas at Solavandan, 296. 

Ch616ndr asimha-chaturv6dimangalam, 31 • 

Cholera, 162, 163, 168, 226, 321. 

Chotala, 243. 

Choultries, endowed by Navakkan rulers, 

Ghtistian College Blagazine, 28, 290, note. 
Cliristians, 75-9, 176. 
Chrome tanning, 141, 150. 
Church at Madura, 259. 
Churches, 77, 78, 79. 
Cigar-making, 149. 
Cinchona, 246. 

Circumcision amongst Kalians, 94. 
Civil justico, 214. 

Clarke, Mr. Thomas, 205 note, 251, 252. 
Climate, 13, 247. 

Coaker's Walk, at Kodaikanal, 248. 
Cockburn, Mr. M. D., 110. 
Cock-fighting, 83. 
Cocoanut, toddy from, 211. 
Coffee, on the Palnis, 4, 5, 114, 138 ; on 
the Sirumalais, 8, 114, 149, 293; cnriuj; 
of, 150 ; export of, 151. 
Coimbatore district, 146. 
Coinage, 163. 

Coins, of the Pandyas, 28 ; of Rajaraja, 
31 ; of Maravarman Sundara-Pindya I, 
35 ; Roman, 303. 

Collectors, list of, 208. 

College, theological, 246. 

Colleges, 176. 

Colleries, 88. 

Colombo, 146. 

Combs made at Palni, 151. 

Commercial Bank of India, 238, 240, 317. 

Commission of 1796, 185, 206. 

Committee of Assigned Revenue, 68, 69. 

Comoiin, Cape, 32. 

Conjeeveram, capital of the Pallavas, 29 ; 
and Ganga-Pallavas, 30 ; taken by the 
Ch4ras, 38; Kappiliyans halted at, 108, 
320 ; wax-printing at, 148 ; Jains of, 
254 ; Vellaks from, 296. 

Contract distillery supply system, 211. 

Coomaraswami, Hon. P., 28. 

Coorg, 31. 

Cope, Captain, 61. 

Coriander, 118. 

Cotton, Mr. C. R., 250. 

Cotton and Silk Supply Associations, 8. 

Cotton, experiments with exotic, 8; cul- 
tivation of, 113, 114, 118, 336; weaving 
of, 145 ; spinning of, 149 ; export of raw 
and manufactured, 151. 

Cows used for ploughing, 20. 

Cranganore, Archbishop of, 75. 

Crime, 89-93, 165, 215. 

Criminal castes and gangs, 216, 

Criminal Tribes Act, 92. 

Criminal tribunals, 215. 

Crole, Mr. C. S., 223, 225, 264, 265, 268. 

Crops, statistics of, 113. 

Cuddalore, 237. 

Cuddapah district, 170. 

Cuppage, Colonel, 234, 308. 

Cyclone, 166. 

Dacoity, 90, 216. 

Dagger marriage, 107. 

Daggupad, 213. 

Dalbergia laUfolia, 136, 140. 

Dalbergia pcmiculata, 140. 

Damalcheruvu, 59. 

Dammar, tax on, 205. 

Dandayudhapani, 304. 

Dauiell, drawings by, 274. 

Dasaris, 216. 

Date trees, 211. 

Daulatabad, 110. 

Davidson, Mr, Robert, 234, 241 ; Ensign 

Ddyddi pattam, 293. 
De Britto, John, 76, 181. 
De' Nobili, Robert, 75, 168, 175, 
Density of population, 72, 
Deputy Collectors, 129, 207, 213, 
Deputy tahsildars, 206, 
D^va Baya II, 40, 

1 V n E X 


D.'vadriiiapatti (Cd), eatnrapt of tlie 
Manjilai" noir, 12; proposal iMJlway 
f-lirough, 15'.>; resumR I p'il;iiva:n of, 
"183; rl.iiiiicd l)y Sand liyiir p'ilii;ar, IS'), 
2'.Hj ; '•sclioatcd for want of hi-lrs, I'J !• ; 
K'l.'i'p 'iliHt to Kodaikiiiial ffoin. il'iO ; 
Virupakslii jioiijar hanged nonr, 311; 
(k'Sci il>«'<l, Mil"). 

Dovagiii, 110. 

Devanampatnam, '2'-'7. 

Divaru am, 2<>. 

Dovila, 87. 

riharapnratn. 1'"':', 211. 

Dharmakattu Kappilivans, lOS. 

Dlioll, 117. 

Dindii,'ul Committee of 1700. IS."), 2^38. 

Dindicrul rocW, 232-234, 308, 311. 

I'indigul taluk, 228. 

Dindi>ul taluk board, 220. 

Diiidigul town {Ec), climate of, 13 11 ; 
bpsioy,'ed by Mysore troojis, 4>; Chanda 
Sahib's brother appointed governoi' of, 
.'38 ; VaTiv:'n-u Tiiumala defeated at, 58 ; 
liistory of tlie country round, (ii) ; sur- 
rendered to ( 'oli)ne! Lang, 70 ; restored 
to Tipu, 70; taken hy Colonel Stuart, 
71 ; Patnalk'Arans numerous in, 74', 110 ; 
Homan Catholic church at, 77 ; American 
]\Iission at, 78 ; R^vutan stieet^ in, 70 ; 
Lutheran Mission at, 79 ; buffjlo sacri- 
fices in, F6 ; irrigation minor basin at, 
121', 12o ; tanniii;^ at, 137, loO ; weaving 
at, 145; cheroot trade at, 149; hides 
and skins exported at, 150, 151 ; locks 
and safes of, 3 5 ">, 1 51 ; bellraetal vessels 
made at, 151 ; trade centre, 152 ; road 
througlt, 155; railway lines ])roposed 
from,"] 58, 159; rainfall at, IKO; famine 
near, IHl, 164 ; hosjiital at, 172 ; schools 
at, 177, 178; early revenue liistory of 
the coiintry round, 181-190 ; bench 
court at, 215; district inunsif at, 215; 
sub-resistrar at, 215; municip ditv, 221, 
225 ; fiescril)ed, 23'. 

Diseases, 108-171, 281. 

Dispensaries, 171, 17', 173. 

Oistiilery at TaidimaMur, 211. 

District and Sessions Court, 215. 

District Hoar.!, 220. 

District Jail, 5'\ 2! 7. 

District muiisifs, 215. 

District Ixegistiar, 215. 

Divisional charges. 2O0. 

Doctor's Delight, 13S, 249. 

Doddappannya'skan'ir estate, 130, 195, 32'>, 

Dodoiisai rK-T')xa, 115. 

Doiis of Kombai 3! 9. 

Dolmens, 25, 247, 2H0. 

Douiba-heri estate (li-). 315. 

Donibans, 82, S3. 

Dommara^, 151 . 

Drainage seheine foi' ^la bira, 22 t. 

Draup.adi, 80., 79, 82, 103. 

Dry cultivation, 1UV121, 

Duck, 22. 

DufTerin, Lord. 201. 
Diip'itir., 115. 
D\eiir.'-. 117. 


Ears, s' retching tin lo'jcs of, 82. 

Eirth salt, 210. 

Economic condition of ngriculturij-ts, 130. 

Education, 74, 174-178. 

Edward Tark, 222. 

Ekoji, 51, 181. 

F.lx.,carpii.-\ 13?. 

Elaivankudiyar, 80. 

Ela-tndhi.", 131, 213. 

Eleetricitv, geuerati ^n frjui ilie IVrIv<'.r 
fall of, 128. 

Eleplinrit s+oue, 2 23, 207. 

Elephants, forinerlv nuiuerou?!, 22 ; in the 
IliKh Wavy, IfO"; ravage's of, 231, 317; 
petrified, 251; CiUaeior's letters 
carried bv, 2 >4 ; story of In Ir.i'.^, 325. 

Elliott. Mr.'Wiiliam, 8. 

Elliott lale, 8. 

Bliunnlai, 320, 326. 

Emakkalapuram (Ec), 70, 183, 237. 

Emigration to Ceylon, 72, 13(1, 102, 103. 

Epijrapliia IndicaAii), 20 note ; (iiil, 44 
note; (iv), 38 note; (v), 30 note; (vi), 
88 note, 280 note. 

Eiasakkanayakkannr (Be), restored by 
Sarya NarAy.m, 70; forests 
in, 130; resumed by Tipu, but restored 
liv the Enslish, 183 ; sanad granted 
to, 195 ; described, 310. 

Eiiyoda {Eh), pHlai3ani resumed by 
fcjaiyad Sahib, 70, 183; forfeited for 
re'oellion, 194; described, 238; cliiuf 
h(>!ped by Sukkampatti poligar, 242. 

Eiiacliinnamma Niiyakkan, 320. 

I'h-rantnal, 291. 

Eruttukarar, 8(.t. 

Ettaiyapnrani, 48, 317. 

En,yeHia A' noitiaiut, 139. 

European Club at Ma.lurj, 172, 259. 

Ex voto offerings, BO. 

Exports, 151. 

' Fairy Ealls' waterfall, 2t8. 

Fa'nines and scarcities, in the days of the 

Nayakkan", 59, 52 ; area prjlejted from, 

121 ; reocnt, 10l-i(>0. 
Farm-labour, 141. 
Fauna, 20. 
Ferguseon's Li.iian und Eiu-'e>n .'rr'ntec- 

ttire, 271. 275. 
Fernandet, Father, 75, 70. 
Ferry, 157. 
Ferry t.ix, 179. 
Fever, 4, 108, 109, 23S. 
Fifth Report of the (^oaimi^tee on liie 

affairs of ilie K.I.Co., 32S, 329 njte. 




Firp-T\'allvin,s, SO, 8G, 822. 

Fischer, Col. J. F., I.0G ; Mr. George 
Frederick, 250, 2U0, 275; Mr. Kobeit, 
elejihant-, tusks in the possession of, 23 ; 
I'craiiai dam suit brought by, 130 ; 
bungalow fit Madiir.i given to, 259; 
church at M;KiinM built by, 200; pictui'o 
of Madura in tlie [j'jsscssion ol', 26('), 274 ; 
JJodinJyakkanur estate moi'tgagcd to, 

Fish, 28, 279, 307. 

Fletcher's bungalow, 201. 

Floods, 157, IGl, ir.O. 

Flora, 15, 133. 

Florican, 22. 

Fodder, 20, 118. 

Fondclair, M. Eniile de, -I, 8 ; If. Faure de, 
8, 293. 

Food, 83. 

Foote, Mr. Bruce, 9, 14 note, 24, 248. 

Foreign liquor, 211. 

Forest settlement, 135. 

Forefts, 8, 132-143. 

Fort Defiance, 2G2. 

Fort Hamilton, 249. 

Forts at, Alagarkovil, 283 ; Balasamudram, 
307; Devadanapatti, 31(3 ; Dindigul, 233; 
Idaiyankottai, 302 ; Melur, 288 ; Nara- 
Fingaparam, 318; Nattam, 288; 
Nilakkottai, 295 ; Solavandan, 296, 297 ; 
Vattilagundu, 299 ; V^dasanddr, 244. 

Fonlkes, Mrs., 260. 

FuUarton, Colonel, 67, OS, 181. 

Funeral ceremonies of, Idaiyans, 97; 
Kalians, 95 ; Kammalans, 99; Kappili- 
yans, 109 ; Kusavans, 102 ; Nattukuttai 
(^hettis, 100 ; Paliyans, 106 ; Tuttiyans, 
108 ; Yalaiyans, 98; Vannans, 101. 


Gall-nut, 137, 133, 139, 141. 

Game, 22. 

Ganesa, 300, 305. 

Ganga-Pallavas, ."50. 

Gangai-konda-Cliol I, 32. 

G ingas, 30. 

Gangu\arpatti (C/), ghat road to, 155, 156; 
plundered, 290. 

Gaiija,212, 213. 

Gantanianiyakkanur, ^jirushaTiad valley 
annexed by poligar of, C> ; restored by 
Surya Narayana Mudali and resumed by 
Mfr Sahib," 70; Jangles in, 13 1, 136; 
i-esumed by Tipa but restored by the 
English, 183 ; satiad granted for, 195, 1 96; 
described, 317 ; invaded i)j' Vadakarai 
]/oligar, 323. 

Garlands worn by warriors, 29. 

Garlic, 5, 114, 151. 

Garnier, Father, 77. 

Gass, Mr., 134. 

Gazula Balijas, 151. 

Geology, 14. 

Ghee-tax, 179, 190. 

Gingee, 45,46, 50, 5i. 

Glngeliy, 113, 114, 150. 

Ginger," 4, 205. 

Gin:iing of coft(,n, 119. 

Girls' schools, 178. 

(Ueaytinqn J'luin ancient Tamil literatuye, 

28 note." 
' Glen Falls' waterfall, 218. 
Gnei^sic rocks, 14, 326. 
Goa, Archbishoyj of, 77. 
Goanese Catholics, 232. 
Goals, 22, 137, 142, 143. 
Godfrey, Mr., 170. 
Golconda, 45, 53, 
Gold-washing, 15, 241. 
Gooty, 314. 

Gdpalasvami hill (BJ), 15. 
Gopia Nayakkau, 296. 
GopinathaSvami hill, 86. 
Gdripalaiyam {Et), 2(;5. 
Gi'ain brokers, 152. 
Grain measures, 152. 
Grazing fees, 134, 141. 
Great Southern India Eailwny, 134. 
Gregory XV F, Pope, 77. 
Growth of jiopulation, 72. 
Giidalur (-B/), I'csumcd palaiyam, 183 ; 

claimed by Travancore, 184, 185 5 

union, 220 ; described, 318. 
Gujarati, 74, 110. 
Gundan shola, 139, 140. 
Gnndar river, 10, 124, 166. 
Gnntiir famine, 162. 
Gurramkonda rock, 234. 
Gui'unatlia Jdtil Nayakkan, 32C. 
Gurunatlian, 101. 

Eafta decasidnam, 197, 198. 

Haidar Ali, invades the Country round 
Madura, GC> ; the Carnatic, 68 ; and 
the Dindigul country, 70, 236 ; famine 
following the invasion of, 161; Dindigul 
country leased bj', 181 ; confiscates 
Kambam and Gddalur palaiyams, 184, 
318; his dealings with Eriyodu, 238; 
Kannivadi, 239 ; Palliyappanayakkanur, 
2-10; SukkAmpatti, 242; and Aiuinaya- 
n^yakkant'ir, 293 ; takes Solavandan, 
297 ; and Vattilagundu, 293; transfers 
Idaiyankottai and Manibarai from Ara- 
vaknrichi to Dindigul district, 302, P.O'.i ■ 
jilundcrs Palni, 307 ; attacks V'irupakshi, 
.311 ; and Bddinaj'akkanur, 315; name of 
Utramapalaiyam given by, 321. 

Halebid, 34. 

Hamilton, Major Douglas, 249. 

Hampe, 38. 

Ilardwiciia binafa, 137. 

Ha' rington, Mr. William, 185. 

Harvey's steam mill, 149. 

Hatchet tax, 205. 

Havell, Mr., 82. 

Havelock, Sir Arthur, 171. 



Uazarafc Saiyad Aval) ALiiur Kaliiiu 
Auliah; rlarga of, 2-14. 

lleiirpel. Mr. J., UO. 

llcuiiiigway, Mr. F. Iv.. 25 note: 

Tlemiticnjits Itijlocriua, 23. 

Hoirijvclru^-s, 212. 

Wcrou, Coi., G2, 88, 181, 2SiJ. 

llickey, l{ev. William, 2.34. 

Hides and skins. 1-50. 

' High Wavy ' mountain (.B/), 7, U, 140, ylG. 

Hill villages, sot-tlenient of, 205. 

Hills, 3-iO. 

Hindn rermanont b'lm'l, l.'Jl. 

Hiiidcs, 80-111, 176. 

Hindustani, 7!'. 

Histoiy of the district, 2o 71. 

Hodg-3 .n, Mr., IIH. 

Hoisington, ftlr., 78. 

Honey tox, 179, 190, 205. 

Hook-.!iwinging, 321. 

Horse-gTam,113, 111. 118. 

Iforsely, Capt.->iu W. U., 2.51. 

Hcsi'itals, 171, 172, 3lu. 

Hosten. Ucv. H., 247. 

House-tax, 179, 189, 220, 221. 

Houses, 5, 81. 

Hoysala Ballalas, 34, 35, 36. 

Hultzsch, Dr., 27 note. 

Humidity, 1 I-. 

Hnrdis, Harriot, 234. 

Hnrdiy, Mr. Thomas Dowyer, chattrani 
inauis resumed by, 158; the collector- 
ship of, 186 ; his repoits on the Hindi. ul 
country, 194, 197 ; his settlement of 
the district, 197-201 ; and of tlie hill 
villages, 205 ; list of inains compiled by, 
206; tomb of the sister of, 234; ob- 
tains grant of ihe Tamakam, 263; 
Idaiyankdttai estate resumed by, 302. 

llutchins. Sir Philip, 275. 

Hytcna cave, 257. 

Ibn Batuta, 28 note. 

Idaiyankottai (D6), not resumed by llaidar 
or Tipu, 70, 183 ; plundering raids of 
poligar of, 184; resumed for arrears, 
194 ; sanad granted to, 19.5 ; poligars' 
relationshij) to Kannivadi family, 238; 
described, 302. 

Idaiyans, 92, IK".. 

Idumban, 305, 306. 

Idumbanraalai, 305, •Wk 

Idylls, ten Tamil, 28. 

llaiyattakudi, sub-division of Nail uk.'ittai 
Chetti.'i, 100. 

Iluppaikudi, 100. 

Imam nlhi, I\Iir, {',9, 236. 

Iiiiliunin, 1 17. 

Iinrcadi Ac^lnnaiua Si'uappa Kavumhtn, 

Impartible Estates Act (1901), 196. 

Import", 151. 

Inams, 157, 186, 197, 2U0, 206, 

Income-tax, 213. 

Indian Antiqii.arii, (v), 106 ; (^iii), 29 note ; 

{x), 304 iioU!; (xv), 110; (.\x), 2u ujto. 
Indigo, 11 5, 147. 
Indigo-vats, 179, 189. 
Iniustiius, 144-15)., 232. 
Inheritance, among Idaiyan^, 97; in the 

e-tates of Ammayanayakkanur, 293 ; 

Ayakkudi, 302; and Hudinayakkatuir, 

Innos, Colonel, 311. 
Inscriptions at, Aivarmalai, 301 ; Alagar- 

kovil, 5:84; Anaimalai, 255, 256; 

Andii)atti, 313; Chinnamanur, 316; 

Dindigiil, 233, 234; Goripalairam, 265; 

Kalahasti, 31; Ki'ranui-, 303; Koilai- 

kanal, i;52 ; Kodimangal im, 257; 

Kovilpatti, 330; Madura, 2';7, 272; 

Maudasor, 110; Pdlakkandttn, 211; 

Periyakulani, 321; Piianraalai, 288; 

ItRinanadapurani, 211 ; Siddharmalai, 

295 ; Solavandan, 29() ; Su.dii', 

31; Tadikkombu, 242; Tanjore, 30; 

Tiruchunai, 287 ; Tirup]iarankunram, 

280, 2SL; Tirtvaddr, 290; Uttamapa- 

laiyan, 322. 
Inscriptions of, Achyuta, !o, 233 ; Iieva 

Kaya II, 40; Kulottunga 1, 32 ; Kulot- 

tunga III, 34; Mangammal, 322; 

Marar.jadaiyan, 2+1 ; Maravarman 

Sundara-Pandya 1,35, 280; N'andivar- 

man Pallavamalla, 30; Narasimhavar- 

maji I, 29; Parantnka I, 31, 255; 

Pulakeiin II, 29; Kajadhiraja 1,32; 

liaj^ndra Deva, 32; Sinihavislinu, 29 ; 

Tirumala Nayakkan, 44, 242. 
Iron, ore of, 9, 15, 287; smelting of, 137, 

179, 189 i import of, 151; oil mills of, 

Irrigation, in the district, 121-13J ; on f ho 

Palnis, 4, 6, 205. 
Irrigation cess, 125. 
IrnnM, 304. 
Irwin, Mr. Eylcs, 68. 
Ixora jyarvijlora, 142. 

Jackals, 19, 291. 
Jails, 217. 

Jains, 29, 74, 25 l, 278, 297 ; tlieii' antiijui- 
ties, 75; at Aivarmalii, 300 ; Anaimalai, 
255; Kovilankulam, 327; Kujipalanat- 
tam, 327: Tiriipparankunriun, 279; 
Uttamapalaiyam, 322. 
Jakkamma, lo7. 
Jallikat, 20, 8 5, 9l». 
James, Father, 77. 
.laiiakinimi Nayakka-i, 30.\ 
I Jati KavnnJaii, lOS. 
' .lavudi hill^:, 2i:!. 

JoUicufc. 83. 
] Jemaul SSalu'b, 63, 

{ Jervis' jN"arratu'e o/ (( Joi.